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VOL. I. 

. Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2010 with funding from 
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 


% mti 


Mks. henry wood, 


"east LYNHB," **L0RD OAKBUEn'S daughters," "TEBVLrW HOLD," 



VOL. I. 



AU righU qf Translation and Beproduction are reserved. 





II. THE MISS Hughes's home. 21 









I. XL MR. carr's offer 179 




^ XV. THE dean's daughter 249 

XVI. A city's DESOLATION 269 






I AM going to tell you a story of real life — one of 
those histories that in point of fact are common 
enough; but, hidden within themselves as they 
generally are, are thought to be so rare, and, if 
proclaimed to the world in all their strange details, 
are looked upon as a romance, not reality. Some 
of the actors in this one are living now, but I have 
the right to tell it, if I please. 

A fair city is Westerbury ; perhaps the fairest 
of the chief towns in all the midland counties. Its 
beautiful cathedral rises in the midst, the red 
walls of its surrounding prebendal houses looking 
down upon the famed river that flows gently past ; 
a cathedral that shrouds itself in its unapproachable 
exclusiveness, as if it did not belong to the busy 
town outside. For that town is a manufacturing 

VOL. I. 1 


one, and the aristocracy of the clergy, with that of 
the few well-born families time had gathered round 
them, and the democracy of trade, be it ever so 
irreproachable, do not, as you know, assimilate. 
In the days gone by — and it is to them we must 
first turn — this feeling of exclusiveness, this line of 
demarcation, if you will, was far more conspicuous 
than it is now : it was indeed carried to a pitch that 
would now scarcely be believed in. There were 
those of the proud old prebendaries, who would 
never have acknowledged to knowing a manufacturer 
by sight ; who would not have spoken to one in 
the street, had it been to save their stalls. You don't 
believe me ? I said you would not. Nevertheless, 
I am telling you the simple truth. And yet, some 
of those manufacturers, in their intrinsic worth, in 
their attainments, ay, and in their ancestors, if 
you come to that, were not to be despised. 

In those old days no town was more flourishing 
than Westerbury. Masters and workmen were 
alike enjoying the fruits of their skill and industry : 
the masters in amassing a rich competency ; the 
workmen, or operatives, as it has become the fashion 
to call them of late years, in earning an ample 
living, and in bringing up their children without a 
struggle. But those times changed. The opening 
of our ports to foreign goods brought upon 
Westerbury, if not destruction, something very 


like it; and it was only the more wealthy of the 
manufacturers who could weather the storm. 
They lost, as others did, a very great deal; but 
they had (at least, .some few of them) large 
resources to fall back upon, and their business was 
continued as before, when the shock was over , 
and none in the outer world knew how deep it had 
been, or how far it had shaken them. 

Conspicuous amidst this latter class was Mr. 
George Arkell. He had made a great deal of 
money — not by the griping hand of extortion ; 
by badly-paid, or over-tasked workmen; but by 
skill, care, industry, and honourable dealing. In 
all high honour he worked on his way ; he could 
not bave been guilty of a mean action ; to take 
an unfair advantage of another, no matter how he 
might have benefited himself, would have been 
foreign to his nature. And this just dealing in 
trade, as in else, let me tell you, generally answers 
in the end. A better or more benevolent man than 
George Arkell did not exist, a more just or consi- 
derate master. His rate of w^ages was on the 
highest scale — and there were high and low scales 
in the town — and in the terrible desolation hinted 
at above, he had never turned from the poor 
starving men without a helping hand. 

It could not be but that such a man should be 
beloved in private life, respected in public ; and 



some of those grand old cathedral clergy, who, 
with their antiquated and obsolete notions, were 
fast dropping ofl' to a place not altogether swayed 
by exclusiveness, might have made an exception 
in favour of Mr. Arkell, and condescended to admit 
their knowledge, if questioned, that a man of that 
name did live in Westerbury. 

George Arkell had one son : an only child. No 
expense had been spared upon William Arkell's 
education. Brought up in the school attached to 
the cathedral, the college school as it was familiarly 
called, he had also a private tutor at home, and 
private masters. In accordance with the good old 
system obtaining in the past days — and not so very 
long past either, as far as the custom is concerned 
— the college school confined its branches of 
instruction to two : Greek and Latin. To teach a 
boy to read English and to spell it, would have 
been too derogatory. History, geography, any 
common branch you please to think of; mathe- 
matics, science, modern languages, were not so 
much as recognised. Such things probably did 
exist, but certainly nothing was known of them in 
the college school. Mr. Arkell — perhaps a little 
in advance of his contemporaries — believed that 
such acquirements might be useful to his son, and 
a private tutor had been provided for him. 
Masters for every accomplishment of the day were 


also given liim ; and those accomplishments were 
less common then than now. It was perhaps 
excusable : William Arkell was a goodly son : 
and he grew to manhood not only a thoroughly 
well-read classical scholar and an accomplished 
man, but a gentleman. " I should like you to 
choose a profession, William," Mr. Arkell had said 
to him, when his schooldays were nearly over. 
" You shall go to Oxford, and fix upon one while 
there ; there's no hurry." William laughed ; " 1 
don't care to go to Oxford," he said ; " I think I 
know quite enough as it is ; and I intend to come 
into the manufactory to you." 

And William maintained his resolution. In- 
dulged as he had been, he was somewhat accus- 
tomed to like his own way, good though he was by 
nature, dutiful and affectionate by habit. Perhaps 
Mr. Arkell was not sorry for the decision, though 
he laughingly told his son that he was too much of 
a gentleman for a manufacturer. So William 
Arkell was entered at the manufactory; and when 
the proper time came he was taken into partnership 
with his father, the firm becoming " George Arkell 
and Son." 

Mr. George Arkell had an elder brother, Daniel ; 
rarely called anythingbutDan.Hehadnotprospered. 
He had had the opportunity of prospering just as 
much as his brother had, but he had not done it. 


A fatal speculation into Avbicli Dan always said he 
was " drawn," but which everybody else said he had 
plunged into of himself with confiding eagerness, 
had gone very far towards ruining him. He did 
not fail ; he was of the honourable Arkell nature ; 
and he paid every debt he owed to the uttermost 
penny — paid grandly and liberally ; but it left him 
with no earthly possession except the house he 
lived in, and that he couldn't part with. Dan was 
a middle-aged man then, and he was fain to accept 
a clerkship in the city bank at a hundred a 
year salary ; and he abjured speculation for the 
future, and lived quietly on in the old house with his 
wife and two children, Peter and Mildred. But 
wealth, as you are aware, is always bowed down to, 
and Westerbury somehow fell into the habit of 
calling the wealthy manufacturer " Mr. Arkell," 
and the elder " Mr. Dan." 

How contrary things run in this world ! The one 
cherished dream of Peter Arkell's life was to get to 
the University, for his heai*t was set on entering 
the Church ; and poor Peter could not get to it. 
His cousin William, who might have gone had it 
cost thousands, declined to go; Peter, who had no 
thousands — no, nor pounds, either, at his command, 
was obliged to relinquish it. It is possible that 
had Mr. Arkell known of this strong wish, he 
might have smoothed the way for his nephew, but 


Peter never told it. He was of a meek, reticent, 
somewhat shy nature; and even his own father 
knew not how ardently the wish had been 

" You must do something for your living, Peter," 
Mr. Dan Arkell had said, when his son quitted 
the college school in which he had been educated. 
*'The bank has promised you a clerkship, and 
thirty pounds a year to begin with ; and I think 
you can't do better than take it." 

Poor shy, timid Peter thought within himself 
he could do a great deal better, had things been 
favourable ; but they were not favourable, and the 
bank and the thirty pounds carried the day. He 
sat on a high stool from nine o'clock until five, and 
consoled himself at home in the evenings with his 
beloved classics. 

Some years thus passed on, and about the time 
that William Arkell was taken into partnership by 
his father, Mr. Daniel Arkell died, and Peter was 
promoted to the better clerkship, and to the hun- 
dred a year salary. He saw no escape now; he 
was a banker's clerk for life. 

And now that all this preliminary explanation is 
over — and I assure you I am as glad to get it over 
as you can be — let us go on to the story. 

In one of the principal streets of Westerbury, 
towards the eastern end of the town, you might see 


a rather large space of ground, on which stood a 
handsome house and other premises, the whole en- 
closed by iron gates and railings, running level 
with the foot pavement of the street. Removed 
from the bustle of the town, which lay higher up, 
the street was a quiet one, only private houses 
being in it — no shops. It was, however, one of 
the principal streets^ and the daily mails and other 
stage-coaches, not yet exploded, ran through it. 
The house mentioned lay on the right hand, going 
towards the town, and not far oif, behind various 
intervening houses, rose the towers of the cathedral. 
This house lay considerably back from the street — 
on a level with it, at some distance, was a building 
whose many windows proclaimed it what it was — a 
manufactory ; and at the back of tlie open-paved 
yard, lying between the house and the manufactory, 
was a coach-house and stable — behind all, was a 
large garden. 

Standing at the door of that house, one autumn 
evening, the red light of the setting sun falling 
sideways athwart his face, was a gentleman in the 
prime of life. Some may demur to the expression 
— for men estimate the stages of age differently — 
and this gentleman must have seen fifty-five years ; 
but in his fine, unwrinkled, healthy face, his 
slender, active, upright form, might surely be read 
the indications that he was yet in his prime. It 


"was the owner of the house and its appendages — 
the principal of the manufactory, George Arkell. 

He was drawing on a pair of black gloves as he 
stood there, and the narrow crape-band on his hat 
proclaimed him to be in slight mourning. It was 
the fashion to remain in mourning longer then 
than now. Daniel Arkell had been dead twelve 
months, but the Arkell family had not put away 
entirely the signs. Suddenly, as Mr. Arkell looked 
towards the iron gates — both standing wide open — 
a gentlemanly young man turned in, and came 
with a quick step across the yard. 

There was not much likeness between the father 
and son, save in the bright dark eyes, and in the 
expression of the countenance — that was the same 
in both ; good, sensitive, benevolent. William was 
taller than his father, and very handsome, with a 
look of delicate health on his refined features, and 
a complexion almost as bright as a girl's. At the 
same moment that he was crossing the yard, an 
open carriage, well built and handsome, but drawn 
by only one horse, was being brought round from 
the stables. Nearly every afternoon of their lives, 
Sundays excepted, Mr. and Mrs. Arkell went out 
for a drive in this carriage, the only one they kept. 

"How late you are starting!" exclaimed WilHam 
to his father. 

" Yes ; I have been detained. I had to go into 


tlie manufactory after tea, and since then Marma- 
duke Carr called, and he kept me." 

'' It is hardly worth while going now." 

'^ Yes, it is. Your mother has a headache, and 
the air will do her good ; and we want to call in 
for a minute on the Palmers." 

The carriage had come to a stand-still midway 
from the stahles. There was a small seat hehind 
for the groom, and William saw that it was open ; 
when the groom did not attend them, it remained 
closed. Never lived there a man of less pretension 
than George Arkell ; and the taking a servant with 
him for show would never have entered his ima- 
gination. They kept but this one man — he was 
groom, gardener, anything; his state-dress (in 
Avhich he was attired now) being a long blue coat 
with brass buttons, drab breeches, and gaiters. 

"You are going to take Phihp to-night?" ob- 
served William. 

"Yes; I shall want him to stay with the horse 
while we go in to the Palmers\ Heath Hall is a 
goodish step from the road, you know." 

" I will tell my mother tliat the carriage is 
ready," said William, turning into the house. 

But Mr. Arkell put up his finger with a de- 
taining movement. 

" Stop a minute, William. Marmaduke Carr's 


visit this evening had reference to you. He came 
to complain." 

"To complain ! — of me ?" echoed William Arkell, 
his tone betraying his surprise. "What have I 
done to him?" 

" At least, it sounded very like a complaint to 
my ears," resumed the elder man ; "and though he 
did not say he came purposely to prefer it, hut 
introduced the subject in an incidental sort of 
manner, I am sure he did come to do it." 

" Well, -what have I done ?" repeated William, an 
amused expression mingling with the wonder on 
his face. 

"After conversing on other topics, he began 
speaking of his son, and that Hughes girl. He 
has come to the determination, he says, of putting 
a final stop to it, and he requests it as a particular 
favour that you wont mix yourself up in the matter 
and will cease from encouraging Robert in it." 

"/.'" echoed William. "That's good. I don't 
encourage it." 

"Marmaduke Carr says you do encourage it. 
He tells me you were strolling with the girl and 
Robert last Sunday afternoon in the fields on the 
other side the water. I confess I was sui-prised to 
hear this, William." 

William Arkell raised his honest eyes, so clear 
and truthful, straight to the face of his father. 


" How things may be distorted !" he exclaimed. 
"Do you remember, sir, my mother asked me, as 
we left the cathedral after service, to go and inquire 
whether there was any change for the better in 
Mrs. Pembroke ?" 

" I remember it quite well." 

"Well, I went. Coming back, I chose the field 
way, and 1 had no sooner got into the first field, 
than I overtook Eobert Carr and Martha Ann 
Hughes. I walked witli him through the fields 
until we came to the bridge, and then I came on 
alone. Much ' encouragement' there was in that !' 

" It was countenancing the thing, at any rate, 
if not encouraging it," remarked Mr. Arkell. 

" There's no harm in it ; none at all." 

"Do you mean in the affair itself, or in your 
having so far lent yourself to it ?" 

" In both," fearlessly answered William. " I 
w^onder who it is that carries these tales to old 
Oarr ! We did not meet a soul, that I remember ; 
he must have spies at work." 

The remark rather offended 'Mr. Arkell. 

" William," he gravely asked, " do you consider 
it fitting that Kobert Carr should marry that 

AVilliam's eyes opened rather wide at the remark. 

" He is not likely to do that, sir ; he would not 
make a simpleton of himself." 


" Then you consider that he should choose the 
other alternative, and turn rogue?" rejoined Mr. 
Arkell, indignation in his suppressed tone. " Wil- 
liam, had anyone told me this of you, I would not 
have believed it." 

William Arkell's sensitive cheek flushed red. 

*' Sir, you are entirely mistaking me ; I am sure 
you are mistaking the affair itself. I believe that 
the girl is as honest and good a girl as ever lived ; 
and Eobert Carr knows she is." 

" Then what is it that he proposes to himself in 
frequenting her society ? If he has no end at all 
in view, why does he do it ?" 

" I don't think he has any end in view. There 
is really nothing in it — as I believe ; we all form 
acquaintances and drop them. Marmaduke Carr 
need not put himself in a fever." 

" We form acquaintances in our own sphere of 
life, mind you, young sir ; they are the safer ones. 
I wonder some of the ladies don't give a hint to 
the two Miss Hughes's to take better care of their 
sister — she's but a young thing. At any rate, 
William, do not you mix yourself up in it." 

*'I have not done it, indeed, sir. As to my 
walking through the fields with them, when we 
met, as I tell you, accidentally, I could not help 
myself, friendly as I am with Eobert Carr. There 
was no harm in it ; I should do it again to-morrow 


under the circumstances; and if old Carr speaks 
to me, I shall tell liim so." 

The carriage came up, and no more was said. 
Philip had halted to do something to the harness. 
Mrs. Arkell came out. 

She was tall, and for her age rather an elegant 
woman. Her face must once have been delicately 
beautiful : it was easy to be seen whence William 
had inherited his refined features; but she was 
simple in manner as a child. 

"What have you been doing, WilHam ? Papa 
was speaking crossly to you, was he not?" 

She sometimes used the old fond word to him, 
"papa." She looked fondly at her son, and spoke 
in a joking manner. In truth, William gave them 
little cause to be "cross" with him; he was a good 
son, in every sense of the term. 

" Something a little short of high treason," 
repHed William, laughing, as he helped her in ; 
" Papa can tell you, if he likes." 

Mr. Arkell took the reins, Philip got up behind, 
and they drove out of the yard. William Arkell 
went indoors, put down a roll of music he had been 
carrying, and then left the house again. 

Turning to his right hand as lie quitted the iron 
gates, he continued his way up the street towards 
the busier portion of the city. It was not his in- 
tention to go so far as that now. }Ie crossed over 


to a wide, handsome turning on the left, and was 
speedily close upon the precincts of the cathedral. 
It was almost witliin the cathedral precincts that 
the house of Mrs. Daniel Arkell was situated. 
Not a large house, as was Mr. Arkell's, hut a pretty- 
compact red-brick residence, with a small garden 
lying before the front windows, which looked out 
on the Dean's garden and the cathedral elm- trees. 

William Arkell opened the door and entered. 
In a little bit of a room on the left, sat Peter 
Arkell, deep in some abstruse Greek play. This 
little room was called Peter's study, for it had been 
appropriated to the boy and his books ever since 
he could remember. William looked in, just gave 
him a nod, and then entered the room on the other 
side the entrance -passage. 

Two ladies sat in this, both of them in mourn- 
ing : Mrs. Daniel Arkell, a stout, comfortable- 
looking woman, in widow's weeds ; Mildred in a 
pretty dress of black silk. Peter and William 
Avere about the same age ; Mildred was two years 
younger. She was a quiet, sensible, lady-like girl, 
with a gentle face and the sweetest look possible in 
her soft brown eyes. She had not been educated 
fashionably, according to the custom of the present 
day ; she had never been to school, but had re- 
ceived, as we are told of Moses Primrose, a " sort 
of miscellaneous education at home." She pos- 


sessed a thorough knowledge of her own language, 
knew a good deal of Latin, insensibly acquired 
through being with Peter when he took his earlier 
lessons in it from his father, read aloud beautifully, 
wrote an excellent letter, and was a quick arithme- 
tician, made shirts and pastry to perfection, and 
was well read in our best authors. Not a single 
accomplishment, save dancing, had she been 
taught; and yet she was in mind and manners 
essentially a gentlewoman. 

If Mildred was loved by her own mother, so 
was she by Mrs. George Arkell. Possessing no 
daughter of her own, Mrs. George seemed to cling 
to Mildred as one. She cherished within her heart 
a secret wish that her son might sometime call 
Mildred his wife. This may be marvelled at — it 
may seem strange that Mrs. George Arkell should 
wish to unite her attractive, wealthy, and accom- 
plished son with his portionless and comparatively 
homely cousin ; but she knew Mildred's worth and 
the sunshine of happiness she would bring into 
any home. Mrs. George Arkell never breathed a ' 
hint of this wish : whether wisely or not, perhaps 
the sequel did not determine. 

And what thought Mildred herself? She knew 
nothing of this secretly-cherished scheme ; but if 
ever there appeared to her a human being gifted 
with all earthly perfections, it was William Arkell. 


Perhaps the very contrast he presented to her 
brother — a contrast brought palpably before her 
sight every day of her life — enhanced the feeling. 
Peter was plain in person, so tall as to be ungainly, 
thin as a lath, and stooping perpetually, and in 
manner shy and awkward ; whilst William was all 
ease and freedom ; very handsome, though with a 
look of delicate health on his refined features ; 
danced minuets with Mildred to perfection — relics 
of the old dancing days, which pleased the two 
elder ladies; breathed love-songs to her on his 
flute, painted her pretty landscapes in water-colours, 
with which she decorated the walls of her own little 
parlour, drove her out sometimes in his father's 
carriage — the one you have just seen start on its 
expedition ; passed many an evening reading to 
her, and quoting Shakespeare ; and, in short, made 
love to her as much as it was possible to make it, 
not in words. But the misfortune of all this was, 
that while it told upon her heart, and implanted 
there its never-dying fruit, he only regarded her 
as a cousin or a sister. Brought up in this familiar 
intercourse with Mildred, he never gave a thought 
to any warmer feeling on either side, or suspected 
that such intimacy might lead to one, still less 
that it had, even then, led to it on hers. Had he 
been aware of his mother's hope of uniting them, 
it is impossible to say whether he would have yielded 

VOL. I. 2 


to it : he had asked himself the question mauy a 
time in his later life, and he could never answer. 

The last remains of the setting sun threw a glow 
on the room, for the house faced the west. It was 
a middling-sized, comfortable apartment, with a 
sort of bright look about it. They rarely sat in 
any other. There w^as a drawing-room above, but 
it was seldom used. 

" Well, aunt ! well, Mildred I How are you this 
evening ?" 

Mildred looked up from her work at the well- 
known, cheery voice ; the soft colour had already 
mantled in her cheek at the well-known step. 
William took a book from his pocket, wrapped in 

" I got it for you this afternoon, Mildred. Mind 
and don't spoil your eyes over it : its print is 
curiously small." 

She looked at him with a smile amidst her glow 
of blushing thanks ; she always smiled when he 
gave her the same caution. Her sight was re- 
markably strong — William's, on the contrary, was 
not so, and he was already obliged to use glasses 
when trying fresh pieces of music. 

" William, my dear," began Mrs. Daniel, '' I 
have a favour to ask your father. AVill you carry 
it to him for me ?" 
4 " It s granted already," returned William, with 


the free confidence of an indulged son. '' What 
is it ?" 

" I want to get over to see those children, the 
Carrs. Poor Mrs. John, ■when she was dying, asked 
me if I would go over now and then, and I feel as 
if I were neglecting the promise, for it is full 
six months since I was there. The coaches 
start so early in the morning, and I thought, if 
your father would let me have the carriage for the 
day, and Phihp to drive me; Mildred can sit in 
the hack seat " 

" 111 drive you, aunt," interrupted William. 
" Fix your own day, and we'll go.^^ 

But Mildred had looked up, a vivid hlush of 
annoyance on her cheek. 

" I do not care to go, mamma ; I'd rather not 
go to Squire Carr's.^^ 

" You be quiet, Mildred,'' said AViUiam. " You 
are not going to see the squire, you are going to 
see the squire's grandchildren. Talking about the 
Carrs, aunt, I have just been undergoing a lecture 
on their score." 

" On the score of the Carrs ?" 

•' It's true. I happened on Sunday to be crossing 
the opposite fields, on my way from Mrs. Pem- 
broke's, and came upon Eobert Carr and Miss 
Martha Ann Hughes, and walked with them to the 
bridge. Somebody carried the news to old Mar- 


maduke, and he came down this evening, all flurry 
and fire, to my father, complaining that I was 
* encouraging' the thing. Such nonsense I He 
need not be afraid that there's any harm in it." 

Mrs. Dan Arkell gave her head a shake, as if 
she were not so sure upon the latter point as her 
nephew. Prudent age — impulsive youth: how 
widely different do they judge of things ! William 
was turning to the door. 

'' You are not going ?" said Mrs. Dan, and 
Mildred looked up from her work, a yearning wist- 
fulness in her eye. 

" I must, this evening ; I asked young Monk to 
come in and bring his violin, and he'll be waiting 
for me, if I don't mind. Good-bye, Aunt Dan ; 
pleasant dreams to you, Mildred I" 

But as WiUiam went out, he opened the door of 
Peter's study, and stood there gossiping at least 
twenty minutes. He might have stood longer, but 
for the sight of two gentlemen who were passing 
along the road arm-in-arm, and he rushed out im- 
pulsively, forgetting to say good- evening to Peter. 




Marmaduke Carr, of •whom mention has been 
made, was one of the Westerbury manufacturers — 
a widower, and a wealthy man. He had only one 
son living — Robert ; two other children had died 
in infancy. Robert Carr, about thirty years of age 
now, was not renowned for his steadiness of con- 
duct ; indeed, he had been a sad spendthrift, and 
innumerable unpleasant scenes had resulted there- 
from between him and his father. It could not 
be said that his heart was bad ; but his head was 
certainly light. Half the town declared that 
Robert Carr had no real evil in him ; that his faults 
were but the result of youth and carelessness ; that 
he would make a worthy man yet. The other half 
prophesied that he would be safe to come to a bad 
ending, like wicked Harry in the spelling-book. 
One of his escapades Mr. Carr was particularly sore 
upon. After a violent quarrel between them — for 
each possessed a temper of his own — Robert had 


started off clandestinely ; that is, without saying a 
word to anyone. At the end of a month he re- 
turned, and hills to the amount of something like a 
hundred pounds came in to his father. Mr. Robert 
had been seeing life in London. 

In one sense of the word, the fault was Mr. 
Carr's. There cannot be a greater mistake than to 
bring up a son to idleness, and this had been 
the case with Robert Carr. He would settle to 
nothing, and his father had virtually winked at it. 
Ostensibly, Robert had entered the manufactory ; 
but he would not attend to the business : he said he 
hated it. One day there, and the other five days 
away. Idling his hours with his friends in the 
town ; over at his uncle's. Squire Carr's, shooting, 
fishing, hunting; going somewhere out by the 
morning coach, and in again ; anything, in fact, to 
avoid work and kill time. This should have been 
checked in the onset ; it was not, and when Mr. 
Carr awoke to the consequences of his indulgent 
supineness, the habits had grown to a height that 
refused control. " Let him take his pleasure a bit/' 
Mr. Carr had said to his own heart at first, " youth's 
never the worse for a little roaming before settling 
down. I have made plenty of money, and there's only 
Bob to inherit it." Dangerous doctrine; mistaken 
conclusions : and Mr. Carr lived to find them so. 

Squire Carr was his elder brother. He was 


several years older than Marmaduke. He possessed 
a small property, and farmed it liimself, and was 
consequently called " Squire " Carr — as many of 
those small landed proprietors were called by their 
neighbours in the days now passing away. Squire 
Carr, a widower of many years, had one son only — 
John. This John had made a marriage almost in 
his boyhood, and had three children born to him — 
Valentine, Benjamin, and Emma, and then his wife 
died. Next he married a second wife, and after 
some years she died, leaving several young children. 
They all lived with the squire, but the three elder 
children were now nearly grown up. It was to this 
house, and to see these younger children, that Mrs. 
Dan Arkell purposed going, if she could borrow 
Mr. Arkell's carriage. They lived about eight miles 
oflf, near to Eckford, a market town. By the coach 
road, indeed, it was considerably more. 

Squire Carr and his brother were not very inti- 
mate. The squire would ride into Westerbury on 
the market day, or drive in with his son in the dog- 
cart, but not once in three months did they call at 
Marmaduke's. There was no similarity between 
them ; there was as little cordiality. The squire 
was of a grasping, mean, petty nature, and so was 
his son after him. Marmaduke was open-handed 
and liberal, despising meanness above every earthly 


Kobert Carr had plunged into other costly esca- 
pades since that first one of the impromptu sojourn 
in London, and his father^s patience ^Yas becoming 
exhausted. Latterly he, Robert, had struck up an 
acquaintance with a young girl, Martha Ann 
Hughes; and there is no doubt that this vexed 
Mr, Carr more than any previous aggression had 
done. The Carrs, in their way, were proud. They 
were really of good family, and in the past genera- 
tion had been of some account. A horrible fear 
had taken hold of Mr. Carr, that Robert, in his 
infatuation, might be mad enough to marry this 
girl, and he would have deemed it the very worst 
calamity that could fall upon his life. 

For Robert was seen with this girl in public, and 
the girl and her family were, in their station, 
respectable people ; and the other evening, when 
Mr. Carr had spoken out his mind in rather 
broad terms, Robert had flown in a passion, and 
answered that he'd " shoot himself rather than 
hurt a hair of her head." The fear that he might 
marry her entered then and there into Mr. CaiTS 
head ; and it grew into a torment. 

The two gentlemen, passing Mrs. Dan Arkell's 
house as William flew out, were Robert Carr and a 
young clergyman with whom he was intimate, the 
Reverend John Bell. Mr. Bell had had escapades 
of his own, and that probably caused him to 


tolerate, or to see no harm in, Robert Carr's. 
Certain it is they were firm, almost inseparable 
friends ; and rumour went that Mr. Bell was upon 
visiting terms at Miss Hughes's house, introduced 
to it by Robeii. The Reverend John Bell had had 
his first year's curacy in Westerbury ; he was now 
in priest's orders, hoping for employment, and, 
meanwhile, helping occasionally in the services at 
a church called St. James-the-Less, whose incum- 
bent, one of the minor canons, had fits of gout. 

William joined them. He did not say anything 
to Robert Carr then, in the presence of Mr. Bell ; 
but he did intend, the first opportunity, to recom- 
mend him to drop the aff'air as profitless in every 
way, and one there seemed to be trouble over. 
They walked together to the end of the old cathe- 
dral outer wall, and there separated. William 
turned to the left, which would lead him to his 
home ; while Mr. Bell passed through a heavy 
stone archway on the right, and was then within 
the precincts of the cathedral, in a large open 
space, surrounded by the prebendal and other 
houses ; the deanery, the cloisters, and the huge 
college school-room being on one side. This was 
the back of the cathedral ; it rose towering there 
behind the cloisters. Mr. Bell made straight for 
the residence of the incumbent of St. James-the- 
Less, the Reverend Mr.Elwin — a little old-fashioned 


house, with no windows to speak of, on the side 
opposite the deanery. 

Eohei't CaiT had turned neither to the right nor 
the left, hut continued his way straight on. Pass- 
ing an old building called the Palmery — which be- 
longed, as may be said, to the cathedral — he turned 
into a by- street, and in three or four minutes was 
at the end of the houses on that side the town. 
Before him, at some little distance, in the midst of 
its churchyard, stood the church of St. James-the- 
Less, surrounded by the open country. The only 
house near it, a poor little dwelling, was inhabited 
by the clerk. That is, it had been inhabited by 
him ; but the man was now dead, and a hot dispute 
was ragingin the parish whether a successor should 
be appointed to him or not. Meanwhile, the widow 
benefited, for she was allowed to continue in the 
liouse until the question should be settled. 

Kobert Carr, however, had no intention of going 
as far as the church. He stopped at the last house 
but one in the street — a small, but very neat dwell- 
ing, with two brass plates on the door. You may 
read them. " Mr. Edward Hughes, Builder," was 
on one ; " The Misses Hughes, Dressmakers," was 
on the other. 

Yes, this was the house inhabited by the young 
person who was so upsetting the equanimity of 
Mr. Carr. Edward Hughes was a builder, in busi- 


ness for himself in a small way, and his two elder 
sisters were the dressmakers — worthy people enough 
all, and of good report, hut certainly not the class 
from which it might he supposed Rohert Carr 
would take a wife. 

Two gaunt, ungainly women were these two 
elder Miss Hughes's, with wide mouths and 
standing-out teeth. The eldest, Sophia, was the 
manager and mistress of the home, and a clever 
one too, and a shrewd woman ; the second, Mary, 
not in the least clever or shrewd, confined her 
attention wholly to her business, and went out to 
work by day at ladies' houses, and sat up half the 
night working after she got home. 

She had been out on this day, but had returned, 
by some mutual arrangement with her patrons, 
earlier than usual ; for it was a busy time with 
them at home, and the house was full of work. 
They were at work at a silk gown now ; both sisters 
bending their heads over it, and stitching away as 
fast as they could stitch. The parlour faced the 
street, and some one else was seated at the window, 
peeping out, between the staves of the Venetian 

This was Martha Ann, a young girl of twenty, 
pretty, modest, and delicate looking; so entirely 
different was she in person from her sisters, that 
people might have suspected the relationship. 


Perhaps it was from the great contrast she pre- 
sented to themselves that the Miss Hughes's had 
reared her in a superior manner. How they had 
loved the pretty little child, so many years younger 
than themselves, they alone knew. They had sent 
her to school, working hard to keep her there ; 
and when they brought her home it was, to use 
their own phrase, "to be a lady" — not to work. 
The plan was not a wise one, and they might yet 
live to learn it. 

" I wish to goodness you could have put Mrs. 
Dewsbury off for to-morrow, Mary !" exclaimed the 
elder sister. 

" But I couldn't," replied Mary. " The lady's- 
maid said I must go to-morrow, whether or 
not. In two days Mrs. Dewsbury starts on her 

" Well, all I know is, we shall never get these 
dresses home in time." 

" I must sit up to-night — that's all," said Mary 
Hughes, with equanimity. 

"I must sit up, too, for the matter of that," 
rejoined the elder sister. " The worst is, after no 
bed, one is so languid the next day ; one can't get 
through half the work." 

Martha Ann rose from her seat, and came to the 

" I wish you would let me try to help you, 


Sophia. I'm sure I could do seams, and such- 
like straightforward work." 

" You'd pucker them, child. No ; we are not 
going to let your eyes be tried over close sewing." 

" I'll tell you what you can do, Martha Ann," 
said the younger of the two. " You can go in the 
kitchen, and make me a cup of coffee. I feel dead 
tired, and it will waken me up." 

" There now, Mary !" cried the young girl. " I 
knew you were not in bed last night, and 
you are talking of sitting up this ! I shall tell 

" Yes, I was in bed. I went to bed at three, 
and slept till six. Go and make the coffee, 

Martha Ann quitted the room. Mary Hughes 
watched the door close, and then turned to her 
sister, and began to speak eagerly, dropping her 
voice to a half whisper. 

" I say, Sophia, I met Mrs. Pycroft to-day, and 
she began upon me like anything. What do you 
think she said?" 

*' How do I know what she said ?" returned Miss 
Sophia, indifferently, and speaking with her mouth 
full of pins, for she was deep in the intricacies of 
fitting one pattern to another. *' Where did you 
meet her ?" 

" Just by the market-house. It was at dinner- 


time. I had run out for some more wadding, for 
me and the lady's-maid found we had made a mis- 
calculation, and hadn't got enough to complete 
the cloak, and I met her as I was running back 
again. She never said, ' How be you ?' or ' How 
bain''t you V but she begins upon me all sharp — 
' What be you doing with Martha Ann ?' It took 
me so aback that for a moment I couldn't answer 
her, and she didn^t give time for it, either. ' Is 
young Mr. Carr going to marry her ?' she goes on. 
So of course I said he wasn't going to many her 
that I knew of; and then " 

"And more idiot you for saying anything of 
the sort !" indignantly inteiTupted Sophia Hughes, 
dropping all the pins in a heap out of her mouth 
that she might speak freely. " It's no business of 
Mother Pycroft's, or of anybody else's." 

The meeker younger sister — and as a very reed 
had she always been in the strong hands of the 
elder — paused for an instant, and then spoke 

" But Mr. Kobert Carr is not going to many her 
that we know of, Sophia. Where was the harm of 
my saying the truth ?" 

" A great deal of harm in saying it to that gab- 
bling, interfering Mother Pycroft. She has wanted 
to put her nose into everything all these years and 
years since poor mother died. AVhat do you say?" 


proceeded Miss Sophia, drowning her sister's feeble 
attempt to speak. " * A good heart — been kind to 
us ?' That doesn't compensate for the worry she 
has been. She's a mischief-making old cat." 

" She Avent on like anything to-day," resumed 
Mary Hughes, when she thought she might venture 
to speak again ; " saying that young Mr. Carr ought 
not to come to the house unless he came all open 
and honourable, and had got a marriage-ring at his 
fingers' ends; and if we didn't mind, we should 
have Martha Ann a town's talk." 

Sophia Hughes flung down her work, her eyes 
ablaze with anger. 

"If you were not my sister, and the poorest, 
weakest mortal that ever stepped, I'd strike you 
for daring to repeat such words to me ! A town's 
talk ! Martha Ann !" 

"Well, Sophia, you need not snap me up so," 
was the deprecating answer. " She says that folks 
are talking already of you and me, blaming us for 
allowing the acquaintance with young Mr. Carr. 
And I think they are," candidly added the young 

" Where's the harm ? Martha Ann is as good 
as Robert Carr any day." 

"But if people don't think so? If his folks 
don't think so ? All the Carrs are as proud as 


"And a fine lot EobertCarr lias got to be proud 
of!" retorted Sophia. ''Look at the scrapes he 
has been in, and the money he has spent ! A good, 
wholesome, respectable attachment might be the 
salvation of him." 

" Perhaps so. But then — but then — I wish 
you'd not be cross with me, Sophia — there'd be 
more chance of it if the young lady were in his own 
condition of life. Sophia, w^e are naturally fond of 
Martha Ann, and think there's nobody like her — 
and there's not, for the matter of that; but we 
can't expect other people to think so. 1 wouldn't 
let Martha Ann be spoken of disparagingly in the 
town for the world. I'd lay my life down first." 

Sophia Hughes had taken up her work again. 
She put in a few pins in silence. Her anger was 

" I'll take care of Martha Ann. The town knows 
me, I hope, and knows that it might trust me. If 
I saw so much as the faintest look of disrespect 
off*ered by Eobert Carr to Martha Ann, I should tell 
him he must drop the acquaintance. Until I do, 
he's free to come here. And the next time I come 
across old Mother Pycroft she'll hear the length of 
my tongue." 

Mary Hughes dared say no more. But in the 
days to come, when the blight of scandal had tar 
nished the fair name of her young sister, she was 


wont to whisper, with many tears, that she liad 
warned Sophia what might be the ending, and liad 
not been listened to. 

" Here he is !" exclaimed Sophia, as the form of 
some one outside darkened the window. 

And once more patting down her work, but not 
in anger this time, she went to open the front door, 
at which Eobert Carr was knocking. 

VOL. I. 




Mrs. George Arkell sat near her breakfast-table, 
deeply intent on a letter recently delivered. The 
apartment was a rather spacious one, handsomely 
fitted up. It was the general sitting-room of the 
family ; the fine drawing-room on the other side of 
the hall being very much kept, as must be confessed, 
for state occasions. A comfortable room, this ; its 
walls hung with paintings in water-colours, many 
of them William's doings, and its pleasant window 
looking across the wide yard, to the iron railings 
and the street beyond it. The room was as yet in 
the shade, for it faced due south ; but the street 
yonder lay basking in the bright sun of the Sep- 
tember morning; and Mrs. Arkell looked through 
the open window, and felt almost glad at the excuse 
the letter aff'orded her for going abroad in it. 

Letters were not then hourly matters, as they 
are now; no, nor daily ones. Perhaps a quiet 
country lady did not receive a dozen in a year : 


certainly Mrs. Arkell did not, and she lingered on, 
looking at the one in her hand, long after her 
hushand and son liad quitted the hreakfast-table for 
the manufactory. 

"It is curious the child should write to me," was 
her final comment, and the words were spoken 
aloud. " I must can-y it to Mrs. Dan, and talk it 
over with her." 

She rang the hell for the breakfast things to he 
removed, and presently proceeded to the kitchen to 
consult with the cook about dinner — for consulting 
with the cook, in those staid, old-fashioned house- 
holds, was far more the custom than the present 
" orders." That over, Mrs. Arkell attired herself, 
and went out to Mrs. Daniel Arkell's. Mrs. Dan 
was sui-prised to see her so early, and laid her spec- 
tacles inside the Bible she was reading, to mark the 

"Betty," began Mrs. Arkell, addressing her 
sister-in-law by the abbreviation bestowed on her 
at her baptism, " you remember the Travices, who 
left here some years ago to make their fortune, as 
they said, in London ?" 

" To be sure," replied Mrs. Dan. 

" Well, I fear they can't have made much. 
Here's a letter comes this morning from their 
eldest girl. It's very odd that she should write 
to me. A pretty little thing she was, of about 



eight or ten, I remember, when they left Wester- 

" What does she write about ?" interrupted Mrs. 
Dan. " I'm sure they have been silent enough 
hitherto. Nobody, so far as I know, has ever heard 
a word from any of them since they left." 

" She writes to me as an old friend of her fathers 
and mother's, she says, to ask if I can interest myself 
for her with any school down here. I infer, from 
the wording of the letter, that since their death, 
the children have not been well off." 

" John Travice and his wife are dead, then ?" 

"So it would seem. She says — 'We have had 
a great deal of anxiety since dear mamma died, 
the only friend we had left to us.' She must speak 
of herself and her sister, for there were but those 
two. Will you read the letter, Betty ?" 

Mrs. Dan took her spectacles from between the 
leaves of the Bible, and read the letter, not speaking 

" She signs herself C. Travice," remarked Mrs. 
George ; " but I really forget her name. Whether 
it was Catherine or Cordelia " 

" It was Charlotte," interposed Mrs. Dan. " We 
used to call her Lottie." 

" The curious thing in the affair is, why she 
should write to 7we," continued Mrs. George Arkell. 
" You were so much more intimate with them, that 


I can only think she has made a mistake 
in the address, and really meant the letter for 

A smile flitted over Mrs. Dan's face. "No 
mistake at all, as I should believe. You are Mrs. 
Arkell, you know; I am only Mrs. Dan. She 
must remember quite well that you have weight in 
the town, and I have none. She knows which of 
us is most capable of helping her." 

"But, Betty, I and George had little or no ac- 
quaintance at all with the Travices," rejoined Mrs. 
Arkell, unconvinced. " We met them two or three 
times at your house ; but I don't think they were 
ever inside ours. You brought one of the little girls 
to tea once with Mildred, I recollect : it must have 
been this eldest one who now writes. You, 
on the contrary, were intimate with them. Why, 
did you not stand godmother to one of the little 
ones ?" 

"To the youngest," assented Mrs. Dan, "and 
quite a fuss there was over it. Mrs. Travice wanted 
her to be named Betty ; short, after me ; but the 
captain wouldn't hear of it. He said Betty was 
old-fashioned — gone quite out of date. If you'll 
believe me it was not settled when we started for 
the church ; but I decided it there, for when Mr. 
Elwin took the baby in his arms, and said, ' Name 
this child,' I spoke up and said, ' Elizabeth.' She 


grew to be a pretty little thing, too, meek and mild 
as a lamb ; Charlotte had a temper." 

" Well, I still retain the opinion that she must 
have been under the impression she was addressing 
you. 'I write to you as an old friend of papa and 
mamma's,' you see, she says. Now that can't in 
any way apply to me. But I don't urge this as a 
plea for not accepting the letter," Mrs. George 
hastened to add ; " I'm sure we shall be pleased to 
do anything we can for her. I have talked the 
matter over with George, and we think it would be 
only kind to invite her to come to us for a month 
or so, while we see what can be done. We shall 
pay her coach fare dowu^ and any other little 
matter, so that it will be no expense to her." 

"It is exceedingly kind of you," remarked Mrs. 
Dan Arkell. *' And when you write, tell her we will 
all try and make her visit a pleasant one," she added, 
in the honest simplicity of her heart. ''Mildred 
will be a companion to her." 

"I shall write to-day. The letter is dated 
Upper Stamford- street : but I'm sore I don't know 
in what part of London Upper Stamford-street lies," 
observed Mrs. Arkell, who had never.been so far as 
London in her life, and would as soon have thought 
of going a journey to Cape Horn. '' Where's 
Mildred ?" 

*' She's in the kitchen, helping Ann with the 


damsou jam. I did say I'd not have any made this 
year, sugar is so expensive, hut Mildred pleaded 
for it. And what she says is true, that poor Peter 
comes in tired to death, and relishes a hit of jam 
with his tea, especially damson jam." 

" I fear Peter's heart is not in his occupation, 

Mrs. Dan shook her head. " It has never heen 
that. From the time Peter was first taken to the 
Cathedral, a little fellow in petticoats, his heart 
has heen set upon sometime heing one of its clergy ; 
but that is out of the (question now : there's no help 
for it, you know." 

Mildred came in, bright and radiant ; she always 
liked the visits of her aunt George. They told her 
the news about Miss Travice, and showed her the 

" Played together when we were children^ I and 
Charlotte Travice," she said, laughing ; " I have 
nearly forgotten it. I hope she is a nice girl ; it 
will be pleasant to have her down here." 

" Mildred, I should like to take you back with 
me for the day. Will you come ? Can you spare 
her, Betty ?" 

Mildred glanced at her mother, her hps parting 
with hope; dutiful and affectionate, she deferred 
to her mother in all things, never putting forth 
her own wishes. Mrs. Dan could spare her, and 


said so. Mildred flew to her chamber, attired her- 
self, and set forth with her aunt through the warm 
and sunny streets — warm, sunny, bright as her 
own heart. 

Very much to the surprise of Mrs. Arkell, as slie 
turned in at the iron gates, she saw the carriage 
standing before the door, and the servant PhiHp in 
readiness to attend it. *' Is your master going 
out?" she inquired of the man. 

" Mr. Wilham is, ma'am." 

" Where to, do you know ?" 

" I think it is only to Mr. Palmer's," returned 
Philip. '' I know Mr. William said we should not 
be away above an hour." 

William appeared in the distance, coming from 
the manufactory with a fleet step, and a square 
flat parcel in his hand. 

" I am going to Mr. Palmer's to take this," he 
said to his mother, indicating the parcel as he 
threw it into the carriage ; *' it contains some 
papers that my father promised to get for him as 
soon as possible to-day. He was going to send 
Philip alone, but I said I should like the drive. 
You have just come in time, Mildred; get up." 

The soft pink bloom mantled in her face; but she 
rather drew away from the carriage than approached 
it. She never w^ent out upon William's invitation 


**Why not, my dear?" said Mrs. Arkell, "it 
will do you good. You will be back in time for 

William was looking round all the while, as he 
waited to help her up, a half laugh upon his face. 
Mildred's roses deepened, and she stepped in. 
Phihp came round to his young master. 

" Am I to go now, sir ?" 

" Go now ? of course; why should you not go '? 
There's the back seat, isn't there ?" 

Perhaps Philip's doubts did not altogether refer 
to seats. He threw back the seat, and waited. 
William took his place by his cousin's side, and 
drove away, utterly unconscious of her feelings or 
the man's thoughts. Had he not been accustomed 
to this familiar intercourse with Mildred all his 
life ? 

And Mrs. Arkell went indoors and sat down to 
write her letter to Charlotte Travice. Westerbury 
had nearly forgotten these Travices ; they were not 
natives of the place. Captain Travice — but it 
should be observed that he had been captain of only 
a mihtia regiment— had settled at Westerbury some- 
time after the conclusion of the war, and his two 
children were born there. His income was but a 
slender one, still it was sufficient ; but it came 
into the ex-captain's head one day, that, for the 
sake of his two little daughters, he ought to make 


a fortune if he could. Supposing that might he 
easier of accomplishment in the great metropolis, 
than in a sober, unspeculative cathedral town, he 
departed forthwith ; hut the fortune, as Mrs. Arkell 
shrewdly surmised, had never been made ; and after 
various vicissitudes — ups and downs, as people 
phrase them — John Travice finally departed this 
life in their lodgings in Upper Stamford- street, and 
his wife did not long survive him. Of the two 
daughters, Charlotte had been the best educated ; 
what money there was to spare for such purposes, 
had been spent upon her ; the younger one was 
made, of necessity, a household drudge. 

Charlotte responded at once to Mrs. Arkell's 
invitation, and within a week of it was travelling 
dow^n to Westerbury by the day-coach. It arrived 
in the town at seven o'clock, and rarely varied by a 
minute. Have you forgotten those old coach 
days ? I have not. Mr. Arkell and his son stood 
outside the iron gates, Philip waiting in attendance ; 
and as the coach with its four fine horses came up 
the street, the guard blew his horn about ten times, 
a signal that it was going to stop to set down a 
passenger — for Mr. Arkell had himself spoken to 
the guard, and charged him to take good care of 
the young lady on her journey. The coachman 
drew up at the gates, and touched his hat to ^Ir. 
Arkell, and the guard leaped down and touched his. 


"All riglit, sir. The young lady's here." 

He opened the coach door, and she stepped out, 
dressed in expensive mourning ; a tall, showy, 
handsome girl, affable in manner, ready of speech ; 
altogether fascinating ; just the one — just the 
one to turn the head and win the heart of a young 
fellow such as William Arkell. They might have 
foreseen it even in that first hour. 

" Oh, how^ kind it is of you to have me !" she 
exclaimed, as she quite fell into Mrs. Arkell's arms 
in the hall, and burst into tears. " But I thought 
you had no daughter?" she added, recovering her- 
self and looking at the young lady who stood by 
Mrs. Arkell. 

" It is my niece Mildred, my dear ; but she is 
to me as a daughter. I asked her to come and help 
welcome you this evening." 

"I am sure I shall love you very much!" ex- 
claimed Miss Travice, kissing Mildred five or six 
times. " What a sweet face you have !" 

A sudden sliyness came over Mildred. The 
warm greeting and the words were both new to 
her. She returned a courteous word of welcome, 
drew a little apart, and glanced at William. He 
seemed to have enough to do gazing at the 

Philip was coming in with the luggage. Mrs. 
Arkell took her hand. 


" I will show you your room, Miss Travice ; 
and if " 

" Oh, pray don't call me 'Miss Travice,' or any- 
thing so formal," was the young lady's interi'uptiou. 
"Begin with ' Charlotte' at once, or I shall fear 
you are not glad to see me." 

Mrs. Arkell smiled ; her young visitor was win- 
ning upon her greatly. She led her to a very nice 
room on the first floor. 

"This will be your chamber, my dear; it is 
over our usual sitting-room. My room and Mr. 
Arkell's is on the opposite side the corridor, over the 
drawing-room. You face the street, you see ; and 
across there to the right are the cathedral towers." 

" What a charming house you have, Mrs. 
Arkell ! So large and nice." 

" It is larger than we require. Let me look at 
you, my dear, and see what resemblance I can 
trace. I remember your father and mother." 

She held the young lady before her. A very 
pretty face, certainly — especially now, for Char- 
lotte laughed and blushed. 

" Oh, Mrs. Arkell, I am not fit to be seen ; I 
feel as dusty as can be. You cannot think how dusty 
the roads were ; I shall look better to-morrow." 

"You have the bright dark eyes and the clear 
complexion of your father ; but I don't see that 
you are like him in features — yours are prettier. 


But now, my clear, tell me — in writing to me, did 
you not think you were writing to Mrs. Daniel 

*' Mrs. Daniel Arkell ! No, I did not. Who is 
she ? I don't remember anything about her." 

*' But Mrs. Daniel was your mother^s friend — 
far more intimate with her than I was. I am de- 
lighted at the mistake, if it was one; for Mrs. 
Dan might otherwise have gained the pleasure of 
your visit, instead of me." 

" I don't think I made a mistake," said Char- 
lotte, more dubiously than she had just spoken ; 
" I used to hear poor mamma speak of the Arkells 
of Westerbury ; and one day lately, in looking over 
some of her old letters and papers, I found your 
address. The thought came into my mind at once 
to write to you, and ask if you could help me to a 
situation. I believe papa was respected in Wester- 
bury ; and it struck me that somebody here might 
want a teacher, or governess, and engage me for 
his sake. You know we are of gentle blood, Mrs. 
Arkell, though we have been so poor of late 

" I will do anything to help you that I can," was 
the kind answer. " Have you lost both father and 
mother ?" 

" Why yes," returned Charlotte, with a surprised 
air, as if she had thought all the world knew that. 


"Papa has been dead several months — twelve, I 
think, nearly ; mamma has been dead five or six." 

" And — I suppose — your poor papa did not 
leave much money ?" 

" Not a penny," freely answered Charlotte. " He 
had a few shares in some mining company at the 
time of his death ; they were worth nothing then, 
but they afterwards went up to what is called a 
premium, and the brokers sold them for us. They 
did not realize much, but it was sufficient to keep 
mamma as long as she lived." 

" And what have you done since ?" 

" Not much," sighed Charlotte ; " I had a situa- 
tion as daily governess ; but, oil ! it was so un- 
comfortable. There were five girls, and no disci- 
pline, no regularity ; it was at a clergyman's, too. 
They live near to us, in Upper Stamford- street. I 
am so glad I wrote to you ! Betsey did not want 
me to write ; she thought it looked intrusive." 

" Betsey !" echoed Mrs. Arkell. 

" My sister Ehzabeth — we call her Betsey. She 
is younger than I am." 

" Oh yes, to be sure. I wondered you did not 
speak of her in your letter; Mrs. Daniel Arkell is 
lier godmother. Where is she ?" 

"AtMrs. Dundyke's." 

"Who is Mrs. Dundyke?" 

" She keeps the house where we live, in Stamford- 


street. She is not a lady, you know ; a wortliy 
sort of person, and all that, but quite an inferior 
woman. Not hut that she was always kind to us ; 
she was very kind and attentive to mamma in her 
last illness. I can't hear her," candidly continued 
the young lady, " and she can't hear me ; hut she 
likes Betsey, and has asked her to stop there, free 
of cost, for a little while. Her daughter died and 
left two little children, and Betsey is to make her- 
self useful with them." 

" But why did you not mention Betsey ? why 
did you not hring her ?" cried Mrs. Arkell, feeling 
vexed at the omission. " She would have been 
as welcome to us as you are, my dear." 

Miss Charlotte Travice shook hack her flowing 
hair, and there was a little curl of contempt on her 
pretty nose. ''You are very kind, Mrs. Arkell, 
but Betsey is better where she is. I could not 
think of taking her out with me." 

'*' Why so ?" asked Mrs. Arkell, rather surprised. 

" Oh, you'd not say, why so, if you saw her. 
She is quite a plain, homely sort of young person ; 
she has not been educated for anything else. No- 
body would believe we were sisters ; and Betsey 
knows that, and is humble accordingly. Of course 
some one had to wait upon mamma and me, for 
lodging-house servants are the most unpleasant 
things upon earth, and there was only Betsey." 


Mrs. Arkell went downstairs, leaving her younor 
guest to follow when she was ready. Mrs. Arkell 
did not understand the logic of the last admissions, 
and certainly did not admire the spirit in which 
they appeared to be spoken. 

The hours for meals were early at Mr. Arkell's ; 
dinner at one, tea at five ; but the tea had this 
evening been put off, in politeness to Miss Travice. 
She came down, a fashionable-looking young lady, 
in a thin black dress of some sort of gauze, with 
innumerable rucheings and quillings of crape upon 
it. Certainly her attire — as they found when the 
days went on — betrayed little symptom of a 
straitened purse. 

She took her place at the tea-table, all smiles 
and sweetness ; she glanced shyly at William ; she 
captivated Mr. Arkell's heart ; she caused Mrs. 
Arkell completely to forget the few words concern- 
ing Betsey which had so jarred upon her ear ; and 
before that tea-drinking was over, they were all 
ready to fall in love with her. All, save one. 

Then she went round the room, a candle in her 
hand, and looked at the pictures ; she freely said 
which of them she liked best ; she sat down to the 
piano, unasked, and played a short, striking piece 
from memory. They asked her if she could sing ; 
she answered by breaking into the charming old 
song " Kobin Adair ;" it was one of William 


Arkell's favourites, and he stood by enraptured, 
half bewiklered with this pleasant inroad on their 
quiet routine of existence. 

" You play, I am sure," she suddenly said to 

He had no wish to deny it, and took his flute 
from its case. He was a finished player. It is an 
instrument very nearly forgotten now, but it never 
would have been forgotten had its players managed 
it as did William Arkell. They began trying duets 
together, and the evening passed insensibly. Wil- 
liam loved music passionately, and could hardly 
tear himself away from it to run with Mildred 

'* Well, Mildred, and how do you like her ?" was 
Mrs. Dan's first question. 

" I — I can hardly tell,"' was the hesitating 

"Not tell I" repeated Mrs. Dan; "you have 
surely found out whether she is pleasant or dis- 
agreeable ?" 

" She is very pretty, and her manners are per- 
fectly charming. But — still " 

" Still, what ?" said Mrs. Dan, wondering. 

" Well, mother — but you know I never like to 
speak ill of anyone — there is something in her 
that strikes me as not being true." 

VOL. I. 4 




The time went on. The month for wliich Charlotte 
Travice had been inYited had lengthened itself into 
nearly three, and December had come in. 

Mrs. Dan Arkell (wholly despising Mildred's 
acknowledged impression of the new visitor, and 
treating her to a sharp lecture for entertaining it) 
had made a call on Miss Travice the followinef 
morning, and offered Mildred's services as a com- 
panion to her. But in a very short time Mildred 
found she was not wanted. William was preferred. 
He was the young lady^'s companion, and nothing 
loth so to be ; and his visits to Mildred's house, 
formerly so frequent, became rare almost as those 
of angels. It was Charlotte Travice now. She 
went out with him in the carriage ; she was his 
partner in the dance; and the breathings on the 
flute grew into strains of love. Worse than all to 
Mildred — more hard to bear — William would laugh 
at the satire the London lady was pleased to tilt at 


lier. It is true Mildred had no great pretension to 
beauty ; not half as much as Charlotte ; but William 
liad found it enough before. In figure and man- 
ners Mildred was essentially a lady ; and her face, 
with its soft brown eyes and its sweet expression, 
was not an unattractive one. It cannot be denied 
that a sore feeling arose in Mildred's heart, though 
not yet did she guess at the full calamity looming 
for that heart in the distance. She saw at present 
only the temporary annoyance; that this gaudy, 
handsome, off-hand stranger had come to ridicule, 
rival, and for the time supplant her. But she 
thought, then, it was but for the time ; and she 
somewhat ungraciously longed for the day when 
the young lady should wing her flight back to 

That expression we sometimes treat a young 
child to, when a second comes to supplant it, that 
" its nose is put out of joint," might decidedly have 
been now applied to Mildred. Charlotte Travice 
took her place in all ways. In the winter evening 
visiting — staid, old-fashioned, respectable visiting, 
which met at six o'clock and separated at midnight 
— Mildred was accustomed to accompany her uncle 
and aunt. Mrs. Dan Arkell's visiting days were 
over ; Peter, buried in his books, had never had 
any ; and it had become quite a regular thing for 
Mildred to go with Mr. and Mrs. Arkell and 



William. They always drove round and called for 
lier, leaving her at home on their return ; and 
Mildred was generally indebted to her aunt for her 
pretty evening dresses — that lady putting forth as 
an excuse the plea that she should dislike to take 
out anyone ill-dressed. It was all altered now. 
Flies — as everybody knows — will hold but four, 
and there was no longer room for Mildred : Miss 
Travice occupied her place. Once or twice, when 
the winter parties were commencing, the fly came 
round as usual, and William walked ; but Mildi-ed, 
exceedingly tenacious of anything like intrusion, 
wholly declined this for the future, and refused the 
invitations, or went on foot, well cloaked, and 
escorted by Peter. William remonstrated, telling 
Mildred she was growing obstinate. Mildred 
answered that she would go out with them again 
when their visitor had returned to London. 

But the visitor seemed in no hurry to return. 
She made a faint sort of pleading speech one day, 
that really she ought to go back for Christmas ; 
she was sure Mr. and Mrs. Arkell must be tired of 
her : just one of those little pseudo moves to go, 
which, in politeness, cannot be accepted. Neither 
was it by Mr. and Mrs. Arkell : had the young lady 
remained with them a twelvemonth, in their proud 
and stately courtesy they would have pressed her 
to stay on longer. Mrs. Arkell had once or twice 


spoken of the primary object of her coming — the 
looking out for some desirable situation for her ; 
but Miss Travice appeared to have changed lier 
mind. She thought now she should not like to be 
in a country school, she said ; but would get some- 
thing in London on her return. 

Mildred, naturally clear-sighted, felt convinced 
that Miss Travice was playing a part ; that she was 
incessantly labouring to ingratiate herself into the 
good opinion of Mr. and Mrs. Ark ell, and espe- 
cially into that of William. *' Oh, that they could 
see her as she really is !" thought Mildred ; " false 
and false I" And Miss Travice took out her re- 
creation tilting lance-shafts at Mildred. 

" How is it you never learned music, Miss 
Ark ell ?" she was pleased to inquire one day, as 
she finished a brilliant piece, and gave herself a 
whirl round on the music-stool to speak. 

"I can't tell," replied Mildred; *•' I did not 
learn it." 

" Neither did you learn drawing ?" 

" No." 

"Well, that's odd, isn't it ? Mr. and Mrs. Dan 
Arkell must have been rather neglectful of you." 

"I suppose they thought I should do as well 
without accomplishments as with them," was the 
composed answer. " To tell you the truth. Miss 
Travice, I dare sav I shall." 


" But everybody is accomplished now — at least, 
ladies are. I was surprised, I must confess, to find 
William Arkell a proficient in such things, for 
men rarely learn them. I wonder they did not have 
you taught music, if only to play with him. He 
has to put up with a stranger, you see — poor me." 

Mildred's cheek burnt. "I have listened to 
him," she said ; " hitherto he has found that sort 
of help enough, and liked it." 

"He is very attractive," resumed Charlotte, 
throwing her bright eyes full at Mildred, a saucy 
expression in their depths ; " don't you find 
him so ?" 

"I think you do," w^as Mildred's quiet answer. 

" Of course I do. Haven't I just said it ? And 
so, I dare say, do a great many others. Yesterday 
evening — by the way, you ought to have been here 
yesterday evening." 

" Why ought I ?" 

" Mrs. Arkell meant to send for you, and told 
WilHam to go ; I heard her. He forgot it : and 
then it grew too late." 

Mildred did not raise her eyes from her work. 
She was hemming a shirt-frill of curiously fine 
cambric — Mr. Arkell, behind the taste of his day, 
wore shirt-frills still. Mrs. Arkell rarely did any 
plain sewing herself; what her maid-servants did 
not do, was consigned to Mildred. 


" Do you like work ?" inquired Miss Charlotte, 
watching her nimble fingers, and quitting abruptly 
the former subject. 

*' Very much indeed." 

Charlotte shrugged her shoulders with a spice of 
contempt. " I hate it ; I once tried to make a 
tray- cloth, but it came out a bag ; and mamma 
never gave me anything more." 

" Who did the sewing at your house ?" 

"Betsey, of course. Mamma also used to do 
some, and groan over it like anything. I think 
ladies never ought " 

What Charlotte Travice was about to say ladies 
ought not to do was interrupted by the entrance of 
William. He had not been indoors since the 
early dinner, and looked pleased to see Mildred, 
who had come by invitation to spend a long after- 

" Which of you will go out with me ?" he asked, 
somewhat abruptly ; and his mother came into the 
room as he was speaking. 

" Out where ?" she asked. 

" My father has a little matter of business at 
Purford to-day, and is sending me to transact it. 
It is only a message, and wont take me two 
minutes to deliver; but it is a private one, and 
must be spoken either by himself or me. I said 
I'd go if Charlotte would accompany me," he 


added, in his half-laughing, half-independent man- 
ner. "I did not know Mildred was here." 

"And you come in and ask which of them will 
go," said Mrs. Arkell. " I think it must be Mil- 
dred. Charlotte, my dear, you will not feel 
offended if I say it is her turn ? I like to be just 
and fair. It is you who have had all the drives 
lately ; Mildred has had none." 

Charlotte did not answer. Mildred felt that it 
luas her turn, and involuntarily glanced at William ; 
but he said not a word to second his mother's 
wish. The sensitive blood flew to her face, and 
she spoke, she hardly knew what — something to 
the efi"ect that she would not deprive Miss Travice 
of the drive. William spoke then. 

" But if you would like to go, Mildred ? It is 
a long time since you went out, now I come to 
think of it." 

Now I come to think of it! Oh, how the ad- 
mission of indifference chilled her heart ! 

"Not this afternoon, thank you," she said, with 
decision. "I will go with you another oppor- 

" Then, Charlotte, you must make haste, or we 
shall not be home by dark," he said. " Philip is 
bringing the carriage round." 

Mildred stood at the window and watched the 
departure, hating herself all the while for standing 


there ; but there was fascination in the sight, in the 
midst of its pain. Would she win the prize, thij< 
new stranger ? Mildred shivered outwardly and 
inwardly as the question crossed her mind. 

She saw them drive away — Charlotte in her 
new violet bonnet, with its inward trimming of 
pretty pink ribbons, her prettier face raised to his — 
William bending down and speaking animatedly — 
sober old Philip, who had been in the family ten 
years, behind them. Purford was a little place, 
about five miles off, on the road to Eckford ; and 
they might be back by dusk, if they chose. It was 
not much past three now, and the winter afternoon 
was fine. 

Would she win him ? Mildred returned to her 
seat, and worked on at the cambric frill, the ques- 
tion running riot in her brain. A conviction 
within her — a prevision, if you will — whispered that 
it would be a marriage particularly distasteful to 
Mr. and Mrs. Arkell. They did not yet dream of 
it, and would have been thankful to have their 
eyes opened to the danger. Mildred knew this ; 
she saw it as clearly as though she had read it in 
a book ; but she was too honourable to breathe it 
to them. 

When the frill was finished, she folded it up, and 
told her aunt she would take her departure ; Peter 
had talked of going out after banking hours with a 


friend, and her mother, who was not well, would be 
alone. Mrs. Arkell made but a faint resistance to 
this : Mildred came and went pretty much as she 

Peter, however, was at home when she got there, 
sitting over the fire in the dusk, in a thoughtful 
mood. On two afternoons in the week, Tuesdays 
and Thursdays, the bank closed at four ; this was 
Thursday, and Peter had come straight home. 
Mildred took her seat at the table, against five 
o'clock should strike, the signal for their young 
maid-servant to bring the tea-tray in. It was quite 
dark outside, and the room was only lighted by the 

"What are you thinking of, Peter?" Mrs. Dan 
presently broke the silence by asking. 

Peter took his chin from his hand where it had 
been resting, and his eyes from the fire, and turned 
his head to his mother. '' 1 was thinking of a pro- 
posal Colonel Dewsbury made to me to-day," he 
answered ; '* deliberating upon it, in fact, and I think 
I have decided." 

This was something like Greek to Mrs. Dan ; 
oven Mildred w^as sufficiently aroused from her 
thoughts to turn to him in surprise. 

" The colonel wants me to go to his liouse in an 
evening, mother, and read the classics with his 
eldest son." 


"Peter!" • 

" For about three hours, he says, from six till 
nine. He will give me a guinea a week." 

" But only think how you slave and fag all day 
at that bank," said Mrs. Dan, who in her ailing old 
age thought work (as did Charlotte Travice) the 
greatest evil of life. 

" And only think what a many additional com- 
forts a guinea a week could purchase for yoii, 
mother," cried Peter in his affection ; " our house 
would be set up in riches then." 

'' Peter, my dear," she gravely said, " I do not 
suppose I shall be here very long ; and for com- 
forts, I have as many as I require." 

"Well, put it down to my own score, if you 
like," said Peter, with as much of a smile as he ever 
attempted ; " I shall find the guinea useful." 

"But if you thus dispose of your evenings, 
what time should you have for your books ?" re- 
sumed Mrs. Arkell. 

" I'll make that ; I get up early, you know ; and 
in one sense of the word, I shall be at my books 
all these three hours." 

" How came Colonel Dewsbury to propose it to 
you ?" 

" I don't know. I met him as I was returning 
to the bank after dinner, and he began saying he 
was trying to find some one who would come in and 


read v/ith Arthur. Presently he said, ' I wish you 
would come yourself, Mr. Arkell.' And after a 
little more talk I told him I would consider of it." 

" I thought Arthur Dewsbury was to go into 
the army," remarked Mrs. Dan, not yet reconciled 
to the thing. " Soldiers don't Avant to be so very 
proficient in the classics." 

" Not Arthur ; he is intended for the church : 
the second son will be brought up for the army. 
Mildred, what do you say — should you take it if 
you w^ere me ?" 

" I should," replied Mildred ; " it appears to me 
to be a wonderfully easy way of earning money. 
But it is for your own decision entirely, Peter : do 
not let my opinion sway you." 

^' I think I had decided before I hung uj) my 
top-coat and hat on the peg at the bank,'' answered 
Peter. "Yes, I shall take it; I can but resign it 
later, you know, mother, if I find it doesn't work 

The cathedra] clock, so close to them, was 
chiming the quarters, and the first stroke of five 
hoomed out ; Peter rose and stretched himself 
with a relieved air. ^' It's always a weight off my 
mind when I get any knotty point decided," quoth 
he, rather simply ; and in truth Peter was not good 
for much, apart from his Latin and Greek. 

At the same moment, when that melodious col 


lege clock was striking, William Arkell was driv- 
ing in at his own gates. He might have made 
more haste had he so chosen ; and Mr. Arkell had 
charged him to be home ''before dark ;" but Wil- 
liam had not hurried himself. 

He was driving in quickly now, and stopped 
before the house-door. Philip left his seat and went 
to the horse's head, and William assisted out Miss 

"Have you enjoyed your drive, Charlotte ?" he 
Avhispered, retaining her hand in his, longer than he 
need have done ; and there was a tenderness in his 
tone that might have told a tale, had anyone been 
there to read it. 

" Oh I very, very much," she answered, in the 
soft, sweet, earnest voice she had grown to use 
when alone with William. '' Stolen pleasuies are 
always sweetest." 

" Stolen pleasures ?" 

" TJiis was a stolen one. You know I usurped 
the place of your cousin ]\Iildred. She ought to 
have come." 

'' No such thing, Charlotte. She can go anytime." 

" I felt quite sorry for her. I am apt to think 
those poor seamstresses require so much air. 
They " 

"Those what?" cried out William — and Miss 
Charlotte Travice immediately knew by the tone, 


that she had ventured on untenable ground. "Are 
you speaking of my cousin Mildred ?" 

*' She is so kind and good ; hemming cambric 
frills, and stitching -wristbands ! I wish I could do 
it. I was always the most wretched little dunce at 
plain sewing, and could never be taught it. My 
sister on the contrary " 

" I want to speak a word to you, Arkell." 

William turned hastily, wondering who was at 
his elbow. At that moment the hall-door was 
thrown open, and the rays of the lamj) shone forth, 
revealing the features of Eobert Carr. Charlotte 
ran indoors, vouchsafing no greeting. She had 
taken a dislike to Eobert Carr. He was free of 
speech, and the last time he and the young lady 
met, he had said something in her ear for which she 
w^ould be certain to hate him for his life — " How was 
the angling going on ? Had Bill Arkell bit yet ?" 

" Hallo !" exclaimed William as he recognised 
him. " I thought you were in London I I heard 
you went up on Tuesday night !" 

" And came down last night. I want you to do 
me a favour, Arkell." 

He put his arm within William's as he spoke, 
and began pacing the yard. William thought his 
manner unusual. There seemed a nervous restless- 
ness about it — if he could have fancied such a thing 
of Robert Carr. William waited for him to speak. 


*' I have had an awful row with the governor to- 
day," he began at length. " I don't intend to stand 
it much longer." 

" What about ?" 

" Oh ! the old stor}' — my extravagance. He was 
angry at my running up to town for a day, 
and called it waste of money and waste of time. 
So unreasonable of him, you know. Had I stayed 
a month, he'd not have made half the row." 

" It does seem like waste, to go so far for only a 
day," said William, '' unless you have business. 
That is a different thing." 

** Well, I had business. I wanted to see a fellow 
there. You never heard any one make such a 
row about nothing. I have the greatest mind in 
the world to shake off the yoke altogether, and start 
for myself in life." 

William could not help laughing. " You start ?" 

" You think I couldn't ? If I do, rely upon it I 
succeed. I'm nearly sick of knocking about. I 
declare I'd rather sweep a crossing, and get ten 
shillings a week and keep myself upon it, than I'd 
continue to have my life bothered out by him. I 
shall tell him so one of these first fine days if he 
doesn't let me alone. Why doesn't he !" 

"I suppose the fact is you continue to provoke 
him," remarked William. 

"What about ?" was the fierce rejoinder. 


"Oh ! yoii know, Can*. What I spoke to you of, 
before — though it is not any business of mine. 
Why don't you drop it ?" 

'' Because I don't choose," returned Kobert Carr, 
understanding the allusion. " I declare, before 
Heaven, that there's no wrong in it, and I don't 
choose to submit myself, abjectly, to the will of 
others. The thing might have been dropped at 
first but for the opposition that was raised. So 
long as fools continue that, I shall go there." 

" Tor the girl's own sake, you should drop it. I 
presume you can't intend to marry her " 

"Marry her!" scoffingly interrupted Robert 

"Just so. But she is a respectable girl, and " 

" I'd knock any man down that dared to say she 
wasn't," said Robert, quietly. 

" Bat don't you know that the very fact of your 
continuing to go there must tend to damage her in 
public opinion ? Edward Hughes must be foolish 
to allow it." 

" Where's the wrong, or harm, of my going 
there ?" demanded Robert, condescending to argue 
the question. " I like the girl excessively ; I like 
lalkingto her. She has been as well reared as I have." 

'•' Nonsense," returned William. " You can't 
separate her from her iiimily ; from what she is. I 
say you ought to drop it." 


" What on earth has made you so squeamish all 
on a sudden ? The society of that hue London 
lady, Miss Charlotte Travice ?" 

They were passing in a ray of light at the 
moment, thrown across the yard from one of the 
carriage lamps. Philip had left the carriage and 
the lamps outside, and was in the stable with the 
horse. Eobert Carr saw his companion's face light 
up at the allusion, hut William replied, without any 
symptom of anger — 

" T will tell you what, people are beginning to talk 
of it from one end of the town to the other. I don't 
think you have any right to bring the scandal upon 
her. You bring it needlessly, as you yourself admit. 
A girl's good name, once lost, is not easy to regain, 
although it may be lost unjustly." 

*'I told you months ago, that there was nothing 
in it." 

" I believe you ; I beheve you still. But now 
that the town has taken the matter up, and is pass- 
ing its opinion upon it, I say that for the young 
girl's sake you should put a stop to it, and let the 
acquaintance cease." 

" The town may be smothered for all I care — 
and serve it right !" was Eobert Carr's reply. *' But 
look here, Arkell, I didn't come to raise up this 
discussion, I have no time for it ; and you may just 
take one fact into your note-book — that all you 

VOL. I. 5 


can say, though you talked till doomsday, would 
not alter my line of conduct by a hair's breadth. I 
came to ask you a favour." 

"What is it?" 

" Will you lend me the carriage for an hour or 
so to-morrow morning ? It's to go to Purford." 

"To Purford! Why that's where I have just 
been. I dare say you may have it. I will ask my 

"But that is just what I don't want you to ask. 
I have to go there on a little private business of 
my own, and I don't wish it known that I have 

William hesitated. Only son, and indulged son 
though he was, he had never gone the length of 
lending out his father's carriage without permission ; 
and he very much disliked the idea of doing so 
now. Robert Carr did not give him much time for 

" You will be rendering me a service which I 
shan't forget, Arkell. If Philip will drive me 
over " 

" Philip ! Do you want Philip with you ?" 

" Philip must go to bring back the carriage ; I 
shan't return until the afternoon. Why, he will 
be there and home again almost before Mr. Arkell's 
up. I must go pretty early." 

This, the going of Philip, appeared to simplify 


the matter greatly. To allow Robert Carr or any- 
one else to take the carriage off for a day without 
permission was one thing ; for Philip to drive him 
to Purford early in the morning, and be back again 
directly, was another. " I think you may have it, 
Carr," he said; "but if my father misses the 
carriage and Philip — as he is sure to do — and asks 
where they are "' 

" Oh, you may tell him then," interrupted 
Bobert Carr. 

" Very well. Shall Philip bring the carriage to 
your house ?" 

" No need of that ; Til come here and get up. 
I'd better speak to Philip myself. Don't stay out 
any longer in the cold, Arkell. Good night, and 
thank you." 

William went indoors ; and Robert Carr sought 
Philip in the stable to give him his instructions for 
the morning. 

5 -a 




In a quiet and remote street of the city was situated 
the house of Mr. Carr. Eobert Carr walked to- 
wards it, with a moody look upon his face, after 
quitting William Arkell — a plain, dull-looking 
house, as seen from the street, presenting little in 
aspect beyond a dead wall, for most of the windows 
looked the other way, or on to the side garden — but 
a perfect bijou of a house inside, all on a small 
scale, with stained glass illuminating the hall, and 
statues and pictures ornamenting the rooms. The 
fretwork in the hall, and the devices on the win- 
dows — bright in colours when the sun shone 
through them, but otherwise dark and sombre — 
imparted the idea of a miniature chapel, when seen 
by a stranger for the first time. Old Mr. Carr had 
spent much time and money on his house, and was 
proud of it. 

Eobert swung himself in at the outer door in the 
wall, and then in at the hall door, which he shut 


with a bang; things, in fact, had arrived at a 
pitch of discomfort between him and his father 
hardly bearable by the temper of either. Neither 
would give way — neither would conciliate the other 
in the smallest degree. The disputes — arising, in 
the first place, from Kobert's extravagance and un- 
steady habits — had continued for some years now ; 
but during the past two or three months they had 
increased both in frequency and violence. Kobert 
was idle — Robert spent — Robert did hardly any- 
thing that he ought to do, as member of a respect- 
able community ; these complaints made the basis 
of the foundation in all the disputes. But graver 
sins, in old Mr. Carr's eyes, of some special nature 
or other, cropped up to the surface from time to 
time. Latterly, the grievance had been this ac- 
quaintance of Robert's with Martha Ann Hughes ; 
and it may really be questioned whether Robert, in 
his obstinate spirit, did not continue it on purpose 
to vex his father. 

On the Tuesday (this was Thursday, remember) 
Robert had been, to use his father's expression, 
" swinging about all day" — meaning that Mr. 
Robert had passed it out of doors, nobody knew 
where, only going in to his meals. Their hours 
were early — as indeed was the general custom at 
Westerbury, and elsewhere, also, in those days — 
dinner at one o'clock, tea at five. About half- 


past four, on tlie Tuesday, Eobert had gone in, 
ordered himself some tea made at once, and some- 
thing to eat with it, and then went out again, 
taking a warm travelling rug, and telling the ser- 
vant to say he was gone to London. And he 
proceeded to the coach-office, took his seat 
in the mail, then on the point of starting, and de- 

Mr. Carr came in from the manufactory at five to 
his tea, and received the message — " Mr. Eobert had 
gone to London by the mail." He was very 
wroth. It was an independent, off-hand mode of 
action, calculated to displease most fathers ; but it 
was not the first time, by several, that Eobert had 
been guilty of it. " He^s gone off to spend that 
money/' cried Mr. Carr, savagely ; " and he wont 
come back until there's not a farthing of it left." 
Mr. Carr alluded to a hundred pounds which 
Eobert had received not many days previously. A 
twelvemonth before, an uncle of Mr. Oarr's and of 
Squire Carres had died, leaving Eobert CaiT a 
legacy of a hundred pounds, and the same sum 
between the two sons of Mr. John Carr. This, of 
course, was productive of a great deal of heart- 
burning and jealousy in the Squire's family, that 
Eobert should have the most ; but it has nothing 
to do with our history just now. At the expiration 
of a year from the time of the death, the legacies 


were paid, and Eobert had been in possession of 
liis since the previous Saturday. 

" He's gone to spend the money," Mr. Carr re- 
peated. No very far-fetched conclusion ; and Mr. 
Carr got over his wrath, or bottled it up, in the 
best way he could. He certainly did not expect 
Eobert back again for a month at least ; very con- 
siderably astonished, therefore, was he, to find Mr. 
Eobert arrive back by the mail that took him, and 
walk coolly in to breakfast on the Thursday morn- 
ing, having only stayed a few hours in London. 
A little light skirmishing took place then — not 
much. Eobert said he had been to London to see 
a friend, and, having seen him, came back again ; 
and that was all Mr. Carr could obtain. For a 
wonder, Eobert spent the morning in the manu- 
factory, but not in the presence of his father, who 
was shut in his private room. At dinner they met 
again, and before the meal was over the quarrel 
was renewed. It grew to a serious height. The 
old housekeeper, who had been in her place ever 
since the death of Mrs. Carr, years before, grew 
frightened, and stole to the door with trembling 
limbs and white lips. The clock struck three 
before it was over ; and, in one sense, it was not 
over then. Eobert burst out of the room in its 
very midst, an oath upon his lips, and strode into 
the street. Where he passed the time that after- 


noon until five o'clock could never be traced. Mr. 
Carr endeavoured afterwards to ascertain, and could 
not. Mr. Carr's opinion, to his dying day, was that 
he passed it at Edward Hughes's house ; but Miss 
Hughes positively denied it, and she was by nature 
truthful. She stated freely that Eobert Carr had 
called in that afternoon, and was for a few minutes 
alone with Martha Ann, she herself being upstairs 
at the time ; but he left again directly. At five 
o'clock, as we have seen, he was w^ith William 
Arkell, and then he went straight home. 

Mr. Carr had nearly finished tea when he got 
in. The meal was taken ih a small, snug room, 
at the end of the hall — a round room, whose 
windows opened upon the garden in summer, but 
were closed in now behind their crimson-velvet 

Robert sat down in silence. He looked in the 
tea-pot, saw that it was nearly empty, and rang the 
bell to order fresh tea to be made for him. Whe- 
ther the little assumption of authority (though it 
was no unusual circumstance) was distasteful to 
Mr. Carr, and put him further out of temper, can- 
not be told ; one thing is certain, that he — he, the 
father — took up again tlie quarrel. 

It was not a seemly one. Less loud than it had 
been at dinner-time, the tones on either side were 
graver, the anger more real aud compressed. It 


seemed too deep for noise. An hour or so of this 
unhappy state of things, during which many, many 
bitter words were said by both, and then Robert 

"Remember," he said to his father, in a low, firm 
tone, " if I am driven from my home and my native 
place by this conduct of yours, I swear that I will 
never come back to it." 

" And do you hear me swear," retorted Mr. Carr, 
in the same quiet, concentrated voice of passion, 
" if you marry that girl, Martha Ann Kuglies, not 
one penny of my money or property shall you 
ever inherit; and you know that I will keep my 

" I never said I had any thought of marrying 

" As you please. Marry her ; and I swear that 
I will leave all I possess away from you and yours. 
Before Heaven, I will keep my oath !" 

And now we must go to the following morning, 
to the bouse of Mr. Arkell. These little details 
may appear trivial to the reader, but tbey bear 
their significance, as you will find hereafter ; and 
they are remembered and talked of in Westerbury 
to this day. 

The breakfast hour at ]Mr. Arkell's was nine 
o'clock. Some little time previous to it, William 
was descending from his room, when in passing 


his father's door he heard himself called to. Mr. 
Arkeil appeared at his door in the process of 

"William, I heard tlie carriage go out a short 
while ago. Have you sent it anywhere ?" 

Just the question that William had anticipated 
would be put. Being released now from his pro- 
mise, he told the truth. 

" Over to Purford ! Why could he not have 
gone hy the coach ?" 

" I don't know I'm sure," said William ; and the 
same thought had occurred to himself. " I did 
not like to promise him without speaking to you, 
hut he made such a favour of it, and — I thought 
you would excuse it. I fancy he is on worse terms 
than ever with his father, and* feared you might 
tell him." 

"He need not have feared that : what should I 
tell him for?" was the rejoinder of Mr. Arkeil as 
he retreated within his room. 

Now it should have been mentioned that Mary 
Hughes was engaged to work that day at Mr. 
Arkell's. It was regarded in the town as a singular 
coincidence; and, perhaps, what made it more 
singular was the fact that Mrs. Arkell's maid, Tring 
(who had lived in the house ever since William 
was a baby, and was the only female servant kept 
besides the cook), had arranged with Mary Hughes 


that she should go before tlie usual hour, eight 
o'clock, so as to give a long day. The fact was, 
Mary Hughes's work this day was for the maids. 
It was Mrs. Arkell's custom to give them a gown 
apiece for Christmas, and the two gowns were this 
day to be cut out and as much done to them as the 
dressmaker, and Tring at odd moments, could ac- 
complish. Mary Hughes, naturally obliging, and 
anxious to stand well with the servants in one of 
her best places, as Mrs. Arkell's was, arrived at 
half-past seven, and was immediately set to work 
in what Tring called her pantry — a comfortable 
little boarded room, a sort of offshoot of the 

Mr. Arkell spoke again at breakfast of this ex- 
pedition of Eobert Carr's. It wore to him a 
curious sound — first, that Robert could not have 
gone by the coach, which left Westerbury about the 
same hour, and had to pass through Purford on its 
way to London ; and, secondly, why the matter of 
borrowing the carriage need have been kept from 
him. William could not enlighten him on either 
point, and the subject dropped. 

Breakfast was over, and Mr. Arkell had gone 
into the manufactory, when the cariiage came 
back. PhiUp drove at once to the stables, and 
"William went out. 

" Well," said he, " so you are back I" 


'■' Yes, sir." 

Philip began to unharness the horse as he spoke, 
and did not look up. William, who knew the man 
and his ways well, thought there was something 
behind to tell. 

"You have driven the horse fast, Philip." 

'" Mr. Carr did, sir ; it was he who drove. I 
never sat in front at all after we got to the three- 
cornered field. He drove fast, to get on pretty far 
before the coach came up." 

'' What coach ?" asked William. 

''The London coach, sir. He's gone to London 
in it." 

" What ! did he take it at Purford ?" 

" We didn't go to Purford at all, Mr. William. 
He ain't gone alone, neither." 

" Philip, what do you mean ?" 

" Miss Hughes — the young one — is gone with 

*' No !" exclaimed William. 

" It was this way, sir," began the man, disposing 
himself to relate the narrative consecutively. ** I 
had got the carriage ready and waiting by a few 
minutes after eight, as he ordered me ; but it was 
close upon half-past before he came, and we started. 
* I'll drive, Philip,' says he; so I got in beside him. 
Just after we had cleared the houses, he pulls up 
before the three-cornered iiehl, saying he was waiting 


foi' a friend, and I saw the little Miss Hughes come 
scuttering across it — it's a short cut from their 
house, you know, Mr. William — with a bit of a 
hrown-paper parcel in her hand. ' You'll sit be- 
liind, Philip,' he says ; and before I'd got over my 
astonishment, we was bowling along — she in front 
with him, and me behind. Just on this side Pur- 
ford he pulled up again, and waited — it was in that 
hollow of the road near the duck-pond — and in two 
minutes up came the London coach. It came 
gently up to us, stopping by degrees ; it was ex- 
pecting him — as I could hear by the guard's talk, 
a saying he hoped he'd not waited long — and they 
got into it, and I suppose he's gone to London. 
Mr. William, I don't think the master will like 
this ?" 

William did not like it, either; it was an ad- 
vantage that Robert Carr had no right to take. 
Had the girl forgotten herself at last, and gone 
off with him ? Too surely he felt that such must 
be the case. He saw how it was. They had not 
chosen to get into the coach at Westerbury, fearing 
the scandal — fearing, perhaps, prevention; and 
Robert Carr had made use of this ruse to get her 
away. That there would be enough scandal in 
W^esterbury, as it was, he knew — that ^Ir. Arkell 
would be indignant, he also knew ; and he himself 
would come in for a large poiiion of the blame. 


" Philip," lie said, awaking from his reverie, 
"did the girl appear to go willingly?" 

" Willingly enough, sir, for the matter of that, 
for she came up of her own accord — but she was 
crying sadly." 

" Crying, was she ?" 

" Crying dreadfully all the way across the field 
as she came up, and along in this carriage, and 
when she got into the coach. He tried to persuade 
and soothe her ; but it wasn't of any good. She 
hid her face with her veil as well as she could, 
that the outside passengers mightn't see her 
state as she got in , and there was none o' the 

William Arkell bit his lip. " Carr had no busi- 
ness to play me such a turn," he said aloud, in his 

" Mr. William, if I had known what he was up 
to last night, I should just have told the master, in 
spite of the half-sovereign he gave me." 

" Oh, he gave you one, did he ?" 

" He gave me one last evening, and he gave me 
another this morning ; but, for all that, I should 
have told, if I'd thought she was to be along of 
him. I know what the master is, and I know what 
he'll feel about the business. And the two otiier 
Miss Hughes's are industrious, respectable young 
women, and it's a shabby thing for Mr. Carr to go 


and do. A fine way they'll be in when they find 
the young one gone !" 

" They can't have known of it, I suppose," ob- 
served William, slowly, for a doubt had crossed his 
mind whether Eobert could be taking the young 
girl away to marry her. 

" No, that they don't, sir," impulsively cried the 
man. " I heard him ask her whether she had got 
away without being seen ; and she said she had, as 
well as she could speak for her tears." 

William Arkell, feeling more annoyed than he 
had ever felt in his life, not only on his own score, 
but on that of the girl herself, turned towards the 
manufactory with a slow step. The most obvious 
course now — indeed, the only honourable one — was 
to tell his father what he had just heard. He 
winced at having it to do, and a feeling of relief 
came over him, when he found that Mr. Arkell was 
engaged in his private room with some gentlemen, 
and he could not go in. There was to be also a 
further respite : for when they left Mr. Arkell went 
out with them. 

" Wilham did not see him again until they met 
at dinner, for Mr. Arkell only returned just in 
time for it. Charlotte Travice was rallying Wil- 
liam for being '' absent," *' silent," asking him 
where his thoughts had gone ; but he did not en- 
lighten her. 


Barely had they sat down to dinner when Mar- 
maduke Can- arrived — pale, fierce, and deeply 
agitated. Ignoring ceremony, he pushed past 
Tring into the dining-room, and stood hefore 
them, his lips apart, his words coming from them 
in jerks. Mr. Arkell rose from his seat in conster- 

" George Arkell, you and I have heen friends 
since we were boys together. I had thought if 
there was one man in the whole town whom I 
could have depended on, it was you. Is this well 
done ?" 

"Why, what has happened?" exclaimed Mr. 
Arkell, rather in doubt whether Marmaduke Carr 
had suddenly gone deranged. '' Is what well done ?" 

" So ! it is you who have helped off my son." 

" Helped him where ? What is the matter, 

" Helped him ichere ?" roared Mr. Carr, " why, 
on his road to London. He is gone off there with 

that — that " Mr. Carr caught timely sight of 

the alarmed faces of Mrs. Arkell and Miss Travice, 
and moderated his tone — " that Hughes girl. 
You pretend to ask me where he's gone, when it 
was you sent him ! — conveyed him half-way on his 

" I protest I do not know what you mearj," cried 
Mr. Arkell. 


" Not know ! Did your chaise and your servant 
take him and that girl to Purford, or did they 

not r 

For reply, Mr. Arkell cast a look on his son — a 
look of stern inquiry. William could only speak 
the truth now, and Mr. Arkell's brow darkened as 
he listened. 

" And you knew of this — this elopement ?" 

" No, on my word of honour. If I had known 
of it, I should not have lent him the carriage. 
Robert" — he raised his eyes to jNIr. Carres — " was 
not justified in playing me this trick." 

" I don't believe a word of your denial," roughly 
spoke ^Ir. Carr, in his anger ; " you and he planned 
this escape together ; you were in league with him." 

It is useless to contend with an angry man, and 
William calmly turned to his father : " All I know 
of the matter, sir, I told you this morning. I 
never suspected anything amiss until Philip came 
back with the carriage and related what had oc- 

George Arkell knew that his son's veracity might 
be depended on, nevertheless he felt terribly 
annoyed at being drawn into the affair. Mrs. 
Arkell did not mend the matter when she inquired 
whither Robert had gone. 

Mr. Carr answered intemperately, speaking out 
the truth more broadly than he need have done : 

VOL. I. 6 


his scamp of a son and the shameless Hughes girl 
had taken flight together. 

Tring, who had stood aghast during the short col- 
loquy, not at first understanding what was amiss, 
stole away to her pantry, where the dressmaking was 
going on. Tring sunk down in a chair at once, 
and regarded the poor seamstress with open mouth 
and eyes, in which pity and hoiTor struggled to- 
gether. Tring was of the respectahle school, and 
really thought death would be a light calamity in 
comparison with such a flight. 

" I have been obliged to cut your sleeves a little 
shorter than Hannah^s, for the stuff" ran short; 
but I'll put a deeper cuff*, so you wont mind," said 
Miss Mary Hughes. 

Surprised at receiving no answer^ she looked up, 
and saw the expression on Tring's face. " Oh, 
Mary Hughes !" 

There was so genuine an amount of pity in the 
tone, of some unnamed dread in the look, that Mary 
Hughes dropped her needle in alarm. ^' Is any- 
body took ill ?" she asked. 

" Notthat, not that," answered Tring, subduing her 
voice to a whisper, and leaning forward to speak ; 
" your sister, Martha Ann — I can't tell it you." 

" What of her ?" gasped Mary Hughes, a dread- 
ful prevision of the truth rushing over her heart, 
and turning it to sickness. 


" She has gone away with Mr. Eobert Carr." 

Mary Hughes, not of a strong nature, became 
faint. Tring got some water for her, and related 
to her as much as she had heard. 

" But how is it known that she's gone ? How 
did Mr. Carr learn it ?" asked the poor young 

Tring could not tell how he learnt it. She 
gathered from the conversation that it was known 
in the town ; and Mr. William seemed to know it. 

" You'll spare me while I run home for a minute, 
Tring," pleaded Mary Hughes ; " I can't live till 
I know the rights and the wrongs of it. I can't 
believe that she'd do such a thing. I'll be back 
as soon as I can." 

" Go, and welcome," cried Tring, in her sym- 
pathy ; " don't hurry back. What's our gowns by 
the side of this dreadful shock? Poor Martha 
Ann !" 

" I can't believe she's gone ; I can't believe it," 
reiterated the dressmaker, as she hastily flung on 
her cloak and bonnet ; " there was never a modester 
girl lived than Martha Ann. It's some dreadful 
untruth that has got about." 

The way in which Mr. Carr had learnt it so 
soon was this — one of the outside passengers of 
the coach, a young man of the name of Hart, had 
been only going as far as Purford, where the coach 



dropped liim. He hurried over liis errand tliero, 
and hurried back to Westerbury, big with the im- 
portance of what he had seen, and burning to 
make it known. Taking his course direct to Mr. 
Carr's, and only stopping to tell everybody he met 
on the w^ay, he found that gentleman at home, and 
electrified him with the recital. From thence he 
ran to the house of Edward Hughes, and found 
Miss Hughes in a sea of tears, and her brother 
pacing the rooms in wdiat Mr. Hart called a storm 
of passion. The young lady, it seems, had been 
already missed, and one of tlie gossips to whom 
Mr. Hart had first imparted his tale, had flown 
direct with it to the brother and sister. 

" Why don't you go after her ?" asked Hart ; 
'' I'd follow her to the end of the world if she was 
my sister. I'd take it out of him, too." 

Ah, it was easy to say, why don't you go after 
her ? But there were 'no telegraphs in those days, 
and there was not yet a rail from London to 
Westerbury. Eobert Carr and the girl were half- 
way to London by that time ; and the earliest con- 
veyance that could be taken was the night mail. 

**It's of no use," said Edward Hughes, moodily; 
*^ they have got too great a start. Let her go, 
ungrateful chit! As she has made her bed, so 
must she lie on it." 

Mary Hughes got back to Mrs. Arkell's: she 


had found it all too true. Martha Ann had taken 
lier opportunity to steal out of the house, and was 
gone. Mary Hughes, in relating this, could not 
speak for sobs. 

" My sister says she could be upon her Bible 
oath, if necessary, that at twenty-five minutes past 
eight Martha Ann was still at home. She called 
out something to her up the stairs, and Martha 
Ann answered her. She must have crept down 
directly upon that, and got off, and run all the way 
along the bank, and across the three-cornered field. 
She — she " the girl could not go on for sobs. 

Tring^s eyes were full. " Is your sister much 
cut up ?" she asked. 

" Oh, Tring !" — and indeed the question seemed 
a bitter mockery to Mary Hughes — " I'm sure 
Sophia has had her death-blow. What a thing it 
is that I was engaged out to work to-day I If I 
had been at home, she might not have got away 

Tring sighed. There was no consolation that 
she could offer. 

" I was always against the acquaintance," Mary 
Hughes resumed, between her tears and sobs ; 
*' Sophia knows I was. I said more than once 
that even if Mr. Robert Carr married her, they'd 
never be equals. I'd have stopped it if I could, 
but I've no voice beside Sophia's, and I couldn't 


stop it. And now, of course, it^s all over, and 
Martha Ann is lost; and she'd a deal better have 
never been born." 

Nothing more satisfactory was heard or seen of 
the fugitives. They stayed a short time in London, 
and then went abroad, it was understood, to Hol- 
land. Those who wished well to the girl were in 
hopes that Kobert Carr married her in London, 
but there appeared no ground whatever for the 
hope. Indeed, from certain circumstances that 
afterwards transpired, it was quite evident he did 
not. Westerbury gradually recovered its equa- 
nimity ; but there are people living in it to this 
day who never have believed, and never will believe, 
but that William Arkell was privy to the flight. 




The time again went on — went on to IMarch — and 
still Charlotte Travice lingered. It was some little 
while now that both Mr. and Mrs. Arkell had come 
to the conclusion within their own minds that the 
young lady's visit had lasted long enough, but they 
were of that courteous nature that shrunk not only 
from hinting such a thing to her, but to each 
other. She was made just as welcome as ever, 
and she appeared in no hurry to hasten her de- 

One afternoon Mildred, who had been out on an 
errand, was accosted by her mother before she had 
well entered. 

" Whatever has made you so long, child ?" 

" Have I been so long ?" returned Mildred. *' I 
had to go to two or three shops before I could match 
the ribbon. I met Mary Pembroke, and she Avent 
with me ; but I walked fast." 

" It is past five." 


" Yes, it has struck. But I did not go out until 
four, mother." 

" Well, I suppose it is my impatience that has 
made me think you long," acknowledged Mrs. 
Dan. " Sit down, Mildred ; I wish to speak to you. 
Mrs. George has been here." 

" Has she ?" returned Mildred, somewhat apa- 
thetically ; but she took a chair, as she was told 
to do. 

" She came to talk to me about future prospects. 
And I am glad you were out with that ribbon, 
Mildred, for our conversation was confidential." 

"About her prospects, mamma?", ^inquired 
Mildred, raising her mild dark eyes. 

" Hers I" repeated Mrs. Dan. " Her prospects, 
like mine, will soon be drawing to a close. ^Not 
that she's as old as I am by a good ten years. She 
came to speak of yours, Mildred." 

Mildred made no rejoinder this time, but a faint 
colour arose to her face. 

"Your Aunt George is very fond of you, 

" Oh, yes," said Mildred, rather nervously ; and 
Mrs. Dan paused before she resumed. 

" I think you must have seen, child, for some 
time past, that we all wanted you and WilUam to 
make a match of it." 

The announcement was, perhaps, unnecessarily 


abrupt. The blush on ^lildred's face deepeued to 
a glowing crimson. 

" Mrs. George never spoke out freely to me on 
the subject until this afternoon, but her manner 
was enough to tell me that it was in their minds. 
I saw it coming as plainly as I could see anything.' 

Mildred made no remark. She had untied her 
bonnet, and began to play nervously with the 
strings as they hung down on either side her neck. 

"But though I felt sure that it^vas in their minds," 
continued Mrs. Dan, " though I saw^ the bent of 
William's inclinations — always bringing him here 
to you — I never encouraged the feeling ; I never 
forwarded it by so much as the lifting of a finger. 
You must have seen, Mildred, that I did not. In 
one sense of the word, you are not AVilham's 
equal " 

Mrs. Dan momentarily arrested her words, the 
startled look of inquiry on her daughter's face was 
so painful. 

" Do not misunderstand me, my dear. In point 
of station you and he are the same, for the families 
are one. But William will be wealthy, and William 
is accomplished ; you are neither. In that point 
of view^ you may be said not to be on an equality 
with him; and there's no doubt that William 
Arkell might go a-wooing into families of higher 
pretension than his own, and be successful. It 


may be, that these considerations have withheld me 
and kept me neuter ; but I have not — I repeat it, 
as I did twice over to Mrs. George just now — I 
have not forwarded the matter by so much as the 
lifting of a finger." 

Mildred knew that. 

" The gossiping town will, no doubt, cast ill- 
natured remarks upon me, and say that I have 
angled for my attractive nephew, and caught him ; 
but my conscience stands clear upon the point 
before my Maker ; and Mrs. George knows that 
it does. They have come forward of themselves, 
unsought by me ; unsought, as I heartily believe, 
Mildred, by you." 

" Oh, yes," was the eager, fervent answer. 

" No child of mine would be capable, as I trust, 
of secret, mean, underhand dealing, whatever the 
prize in view. When I said this to Mrs. George j ust 
now, she laughed at what she called my earnest- 
ness, and said I had no need to defend Mildred, 
she knew Mildred just as well as I did." 

Mildred's heart beat a trifle quicker as she 
listened. They were only giving her her due. 

"But," resumed Mrs. Dan, "quiet and un- 
demonstrative as you have been, Mildred, your 
aunt has drawn the conclusion — lived in it, I may 
say — that the proposal she made to-day would not 
be unacceptable to you. I agreed with her, say- 


ing that such was my conviction. And let me tell 
you, Mildred, that a more attractive and a better 
young man than William Arkell does not live in 

Mildred silently assented to all in her heart. 
But she wondered what the proposal was. 

*' You are strangely silent, child. Should you 
have any objection to become WilHam Arkell's 
wife ?" 

"There is one objection," returned Mildred, 
almost bitterly, as the thought of his intimacy with 
Charlotte Travice flashed painfully across her— 
" he has never asked me." 

" But—it is the same thing — he has asked his 
mother for you." 

A wild coursing on of all her pulses — a sudden 
rush of rapture in every sense of her being — and 
Mildred's lips could hardly frame the words — 
" For me ?" 

"He asked for you after dinner to-day— I 
thought I said so— that is, he broached the subject 
to his mother. After Mr. Arkell went back to the 
manufactory, he stayed behind with her in the 
dining-room, and spoke to her of his plans and 
wishes. He began by saying he was getting quite 
old enough to marry, and the sooner it took place 
now, the better." 

" Is this true ?" gasped Mildred. 


''Tmel" echoed the affronted old lady. ''Do 
you suppose Mrs. George Arkell would come here 
upon such an errand only to make game of us ? 
True I Wilham says he loves you dearly." 

Mildred quitted the room abruptly. She could 
not bear that even her mother should witness the 
emotion that hid fair, in these first moments, to 
overwhelm her. Never until now did she fully 
realize how deeply, how passionately, she loved 
AVilliam Arkell — how utter a blank Hfe would have 
been to her had the termination been different. 
She shut herself in her bed-chamber, burying her 
face in her hands, and asking how she could ever 
be sufficiently thankful to God for thus bringing 
to fruition the half-unconscious hopes which had 
entwined themselves with every fibre of her exist- 
ence. The opening of the door by her mother 
ai'oused her. 

''What in the world made you fly away so, 
Mildred? I was about to tell you that Mrs. 
George expects us to tea. Peter will join us there 
by and by." 

" I would rather not go out this evening, 
mamma," observed Mildred, who was really ex- 
tremely agitated. 

" I promised Mrs. George, and they are w^aiting 
tea for us," was the decisive reply. " "What is the 
matter with you, Mildred ? You need not be so 


struck at what I have said. Did it never occur to 
yourself that William Arkell was likely to choose 
you for his wife ?" 

" I have thought of late that he was moi"e likely 
to choose Miss Travice," answered Mildred, giving 
utterance in her emotion to the truth that lay upper- 
most in her mind. 

" Marry that fine fly-away thing I" repeated ]\irs. 
Dan, her astonishment taking her hreath away. 
*' Charlotte Travice may be all very well for a 
visitor — here to-day and gone to-morrow ; but slie 
is not suitable for the wife of a steady, gentlemanly 
young man, like William Arkell, the only son of 
the first manufacturer in Westerbury. What a 
pretty notion of marriage you must have I" 

Mildred began to think so, too. 

*' I shall not be two minutes putting on niy 
shawl ; I shan't change my gown," continued Mrs. 
Dan. " You can change yours if you please, but 
donH be long over it. It is past their tea-time." 

Implicit obedience had been one of the virtues 
ever practised by ]\[i]dred, so she said no more. 
The thought kept floating in her mind as she made 
herself ready, that it had been more appropriate for 
William to visit her that evening than for her to 
visit him ; and she could not help wishing that he 
had spoken to her himself, though it had been but 
a single loving hint, before the proposal could reach 


her through another. But these were but minor 
trifles, little worth noting in the midst of her intense 
happiness. As she walked down the street by her 
mother's side, the golden light of the setting sun, 
shining full upon her, was not more radiantly 
lovely than the light shining in Mildred Arkell's 

*' I can't think what you can have been dreaming 
of, Mildred, to imagine that that Charlotte Travice 
was a fit wife for William Ark ell," observed Mrs. 
Dan, who could not get the preposterous notion 
out of her head. '' You might have given William 
credit for better sense than that. I don't like her. 
I liked her very much at first, but, somehow, she 
is one who does not gain upon you on prolonged 
acquaintance; and it strikes me Mr. and Mrs. 
George are of the same opinion. Mrs. George just 
mentioned her this afternoon — something about 
her being your bridesmaid." 

'' She my bridesmaid !" exclaimed Mildred, the 
very idea of it unpalatable. 

" Mrs. George said she supposed she must ask 
Charlotte Travice to stay and be bridesmaid : that 
it would be but a mark of politeness, as she had 
been so intimate with you and AVilliam. It would 
not be a very great extension of the visit," she 
added, "for William seemed impatient for the wed- 
ding to take place shortly, now that he had made 


up his mind about it. It does not matter ^vhnt 
bridesmaid you have, Mildred." 

Ah ! no ; it did not matter I Mildred's happi- 
ness seemed too great to be affected by that, or any 
other earthly thing. Mrs. George Arkell kissed 
her fondly three or four times as she entered, and 
pressed her hand, as Mildred thought, signifi- 
cantly. Another moment, and she found her hand 
taken by William. 

He was shaking it just as usual, and his greeting 
was a careless one — 

" How d'ye do, Mildred ? You are late." 
Neither by word, or tone, or look, did he impart 
a consciousness of what had passed. In tlie first 
moment Mildred felt thankful for the outward in- 
difference, but the next she caught herself thinking 
that he seemed to take her consent as a matter of 
course — as if it were not worth the asking. 

When tea was over, and the lights were brought, 
Mr. and Mrs. Arkell and Mrs. Dan sat down to 
cribbage, the only game any of the three ever 
played at. 

" Who will come and be fourth ?" asked Mr. 
Arkell, looking over his spectacles at the rest. 
"You, Mildred?" 

It had fallen to Mildred's lot lately to be the 
fourth at these meetings, for Miss Travice always 
held aloof, and William never played if he could 


help it ; but on this evening Mildred hesitated, and 
before she could assent — as she would finally have 
done — Miss Travice sprang forward. 

" I will, dear Mr. Arkell — I will play with you 
to-night." * 

" She knows of it, and is leaving us alone," 
thought Mildred. '' How kind of her it is ! I 
fear I have misjudged her." 

" I say, Mildred," began William, as they sat 
apart, his tone dropped to confidence, his voice to 
a whisper, " did my mother call at your house this 
afternoon ?" 

Mildred looked down, and began to play with 
her pretty gold neckchain. It was one William 
had given her on her last birthday, nearly a year 

" My aunt called, I believe. I was out." 

William's face fell. 

'' Then I suppose you have not heard anything — 
jinything particular? I'm sure I thought she had 
been to tell you. She was out ever so long." 

'' Mamma said that Aunt George had been — had 
been — speaking to her," returned Mildred, not very 
well knowing how to make the admission. 

William saw the confusion, and read it aright. 

" Ah, Mildred ! you sly girl, you know all, and 
wont tell I" he cried, taking her hand half-fondly, 
half-playfully, and retaining it in his. 


She could not answer ; but the blush on her 
cheek was so bright, the downcast look so tender, 
that William Arkell gazed at her lovingly, and 
thought he had never seen his cousin's face so near 
akin to perfect beauty. Mildred glanced up to see 
his gaze of fond admiration. 

" Your cheek tells tales, cousin mine," he whis- 
pered ; " I see you have heard all. Don't you 
think it is time I married ?" 

A home question. Mildred's lips broke into a 
smile by way of answer. 

" What do you think of my choice 2" 

" People will say you might have made a better." 

" I don't care if they do," returned Mr. William, 
firing up. *' I have a right to please myself, and I 
will please myself. I am not taking a wife for other 
people, meddling mischief-makers !" 

The outburst seemed unnecessary. It struck 
Mildred that he must have seriously feared oppo- 
sition from some quarter, the tone of his voice was 
so sore a one. She looked up with questioning 

" I have plenty of money, you know, Mildred," 
he added, more quietly. "I don't want to look 
out for a fortune with my wife." 

" Very true," murmured Mildred. 

" I wonder whether she has brought it out to 
my father ?" resumed William, nodding towards his 

VOL. I. 7 


mother at the card-table. " I don't thmk she has ; 
he seems only just as usual. She'll make it the 
subject of a curtain-lecture to-night, for a guinea 1" 

Mildred stole a glance at her uncle. He was 
intent on his cards, good old man, his spectacles 
pushed to the top of his ample brow. 

'*Do you know, Mildred, I was half afraid to 
-come to the point with them," he presently said. 
" I dreaded opposition. I " 

" But why ?" timidly interrupted Mildred. 

" Well, I can't tell why. All I know is, that 
the feeling was there — picked up somehow. I 
dreaded opposition, especially from my mother ; 
but, as I say, I cannot tell why. I never was more 
surprised than when she said I had made her happy 
by my choice — that it was a union she had set her 
heart upon. I am not sure yet, you know, that 
my father will approve it." 

" He may urge against it the want of money," 
murmured Mildred ; " it is only reasonable he 
should. And " 

" It is not reasonable," interposed William 
Arkell, in a tone of resentment. " There's nothing 
at all in reason that can be urged against it ; and I 
am sure you don't really think there is, Mildred." 

''Arid yet you acknowledge that you dreaded 
opening the matter to them ?" 

"Yes, because fathers and mothers are alwavs 


SO exacting over these things. Every crow thinks 
its own young bird the whitest, and many a mother 
with an only son deems him fit to mate with a prin- 
cess of the blood-royal. I declare to you, Mildred, 
I felt a regular coward about telling my mother — 
foolish as the confession must sound to you ; and 
once I thought of speaking to you first, and getting 
you to break it to her. I thought she might listen 
to it from you better than from me." 

Mildred thought it would have been a novel 
mode of procedure, but she did not say so. Her 
cousin went on : — 

" We must have the wedding in a month, or so ; 
I wont wait a day longer, and so I told my mother. 
I have seen a charming little house just suitable 
for us, and " 

" You might have consulted me first, William, 
before you fixed the time." 

^^ What for ? Nonsense ! will not one time do 
for you as well as another ?" 

Miss Arkell looked up at her cousin ; he seemed 
to be talking strangely. 

" But where is the necessity for hurrying on the 
wedding like this ?" she asked. *' Not to speak of 
other considerations, the preparations would take 
up more time." 

" Not they," dissented Mr. William, who had 
been accustomed to have things very much his own 



way, and liked it. "' I'm sure you need not raise 
a barrier on the score of preparation, Mildred. 
You wont want much beside a dress and bonnet, 
and my mother can see to yours as well as to 
Charlotte's. Is it orthodox for the bride and 
bridesmaid to be dressed alike ?" 

'• Who was it fixed upon the bridesmaid ?" asked 
Mildred. "Did you?" 

" Charlotte herself. But no plans are decided 
on, for I said as little as I could to my mother. 
We can go into details another day." 

" With regard to a bridesmaid, Mary Pembroke 
has always been promised " 

" Now, Mildred, I wont have any of those Pem- 
broke girls playing a conspicuous part at my wed- 
ding," he interrupted. " What you and my mother 
can see in them, I can't think. Provided you 
have no objection, let it be as Charlotte says.*' 

" I think Charlotte takes more upon herself 
than she has any cause to do," returned Mildred, 
the old sore feeling against Miss Travice rising 
again into prominence in her heart. 

"I'll tell her if you don't mind, Mildred," 
laughed William. " But now I think of it, it was 
not Charlotte who mentioned it, it was my mother. 
She " 

"Mr. Peter Arkell." 

The announcement was Tring's. It cut off Wil- 


liam's sentence in the midst, and also any further 
elucidation that might have taken place. Peter 
came forward in his usual awkward manner, and 
was immediately pressed into the service of cribbage, 
in the place of Miss Travice, who never '' put out " 
to the best advantage, and could not count. As 
Peter took her seat, he explained that his early 
appearance was owing to his having remained but 
an hour with Mr. Arthur Dewsbury, who was going 
out that evening. 

Charlotte Travice sat down to the piano, and 
William got his flute. Sweet music I but, never- 
theless, it grated on Mildred's ear. His whole at- 
tention became absorbed with Charlotte, to the 
utter neglect of Mildred. Now and then he seemed 
to remember that Mildred sat behind, and turned 
round to address a word to her ; but his whispers 
were given to Charlotte. " It is not right," she 
murmured to herself in her bitter pain ; " this 
night, of all others, it is not surely right. If she 
Avere but going back to London before the 
wedding !" 

Supper came in, for they dined early, you re- 
member; and afterwards Mrs. Dan and Mildred 
had their bonnets brought down. 

'* What a lovely night it is I" exclaimed Peter, 
as he waited at the hall door. 

" It is that !" assented William, looking out ; " 1 


think I'll have a run with you. Those stars are 
enough to tempt one forth. Shall I go, Mildred?" 

" Yes," she softly whispered, believing she was 
the attraction, not the stars. 

But Mrs. Dan lingered. The fact was, Mrs. 
Arkell had drawn her to the back of the hall. 

"Did you speak to her, Betty ?" 

^' I spoke to her as soon as she came home. It 
was that that made us late." 

" Well ? She does not object to AVilham ?" 

" Not she. I'll tell you a secret," continued 
Mrs. Dan ; "I could see by Mildred^s agitation 
when I told her to-day, that she already loved 
WilliEim. I suspected it long ago." 

Mrs. Arkell nodded her head complacently. " I 
noticed her face when he was talking to her as 
they sat apart to-night ; and I read love in it, if it 
ever was read. Yes, yes, it is all right. I thought 
I could not be mistaken in Mildred." 

"I say, Aunt Dan, are you coming to-night or 
to-morrow ?" called out Wilham. 

"I am coming now, my dear," replied Mrs. Dan ; 
and she walked forward and took her son's arm. 
WilHam followed with Mildred. 

" Now, Mildred, don't you go and tell all the 
world to-morrow about this wedding of ours," he 
began ; '" don't you go chattering to those Pem- 
broke girls." 


" How can you suppose it likely that I would ?" 
was the pained answer. 

" Why, I know all young ladies are fond of 
gossiping, especially when they get hold of such a 
topic as this." 

" I don't think I have ever deserved the name of 
gossip," observed Mildred, quietly. 

" Well, Mildred, I do not know that you have. 
But it is not all girls who possess your calm good 
sense. I thought it might he as well to give even 
you a caution." 

" William, you are scarcely like yourself to- 
night," she said, anxiously. " To suppose a 
caution in this case necessar^^ for me !" 

He had begun to whistle, and did not answer. 
It was a verse of " Eobin Adair," the song Char- 
lotte was so fond of. When the verse was whistled 
through, he spoke — 

" How very bright the stars are to-night ! I 
think it must be a frost." 

Inexperienced as Mildred was practically, she 
yet felt that this was not the usual conversation of 
a lover on the day of declaration, unless he was a 
remarkably cool one. While she was wondering, 
he resumed his whistling — a verse of another song 
this time. 

Mildred looked up at him. His face was lifted; 
towards the heavens, but she could see it perfectly 


in the light of the night. He was evidently think- 
ing more of the stars than of her, for his eyes were 
roving from one constellation to another. She 
looked down again, and remained silent. 

'' So you like my choice, Mildred !" he presently 

" Choice of what ?" she asked. 

" Choice of what ! As if you did not know ! 
Choice of a wife." 

" How is it you play so with my feelings this 
evening?" she asked, the tears rushing to her eyes. 

'' I have not played with them that I know of. 
AVhat do you mean, Mildred ? You are growing 

She could not trust her voice to reply. AVilliam 
again hroke into one of his favourite airs. 

'' I proposed that we should be married in 
London, amidst her friends," he said, when the few 
bars were brought to a satisfactory conclusion. 
"I thought she might prefer it. But she says 
she'd rather not." 

"Amidst whose friends ?" inquired Mildred, in 

" Charlotte's. But in that case I suppose you 
could not have been bridesmaid. And there'd have 
been all the trouble of a journey beforehand." 

"7 bridesmaid !" exclaimed Mildred ; and all the 
blood in her bodv seemed to rush to her brain as a 


faint suspicion of the terrible truth stole into it. 
"Bridesmaid to whom ?" 

William Arkell, unable to comprehend a word, 
stopped still and looked at her. 

" You are dreaming, Mildred !" he exclaimed. 

" What do you mean ? Who is it you are going 
to marry?" she reiterated. 

" Why, what have we been talking of all the 
evening? What did my mother say to you to- 
day ? What has come to you, Mildred ? You 
certainly are dreaming." 

"We have been playing at cross purposes, T 
fear," gasped Mildred, in her agony. " Tell me 
who it is you are going to marr}\" 

" Charlotte Travice. Whom else should it be ?" 

They were then turning round by what was 
called the boundary wall ; the old elms in the 
dean's garden towered above them, and Mildred's 
home was close in sight. But before they reached 
it, William Arkell felt her hang heavily and more 
heavily on his arm. 

Ah ! how she was struggling ! Not with the 
pain — that could not be struggled with for a long, 
long while to come — but with the endeavour to 
suppress its outward emotion. All, all in 
vain. William Arkell bent to catch a glimpse 
of her features under the bonnet — worn large 
in those davs — and found that she was white 


as death, and appeared to be losing conscious- 

"Mildred, my dear, what ails you ?" he asked, 
kindly. "Do you feel ill?" 

She felt dying ; but to speak was beyond her, 
then. William j)assed his arm round her just in 
time to prevent her falling, and shouted out, 
excessively alarmed — 

"Peter! Aunt! just come back, will you? 
Here's something the matter with Mildred." 

They were at the door then, but they heard him, 
and hastened back. Mildred had fainted. 

"What can have caused it?" exclaimed Peter, 
in his consternation. " I never knew her faint in 
all her life before." 

"It must have been that rich cream tart at sup- 
per," lamented Mrs. Dan, half in sympathy, half in 
reproof. " I have told Mildred twenty times that 
pastry, eaten at night, is next door to poison." 

And so this Avas to be the ending of all her 
cherished dreams ! Mildred lay awake in her 
solitary chamber the whole of that live-long night. 
There was no sleep, no rest, no hope for her. 
Desolation the most complete had overtaken her 
— utter, bitter, miserable desolation. 




Mildred Arkell, in tlie midst of her agouy, had 
the good sense to see that some extraordinary mis- 
apprehension had occurred, either on her mothers 
part or on Mrs. Arkell's; that William had not 
announced his wish of marrying her, hut Charlotte 
Travice. From that time forward, Mildred would 
have a difficult part to play in the way of con- 
cealment. Her dearest feelings, her bitter morti- 
fication, her sighs of pain must he hidden from the 
world ; and she prayed God to give her strength to 
go through her task, making no sign. The most 
emhaiTassing part would he to undeceive her 
mother; hut she must do it, and contrive to do it 
without suspicion that she was anything hut indif- 
ferent to the turn affairs had taken. Commonplace 
and insignificant as that little episode was — the par- 
taking of a rich cream tart at Mrs. Arkell's supper- 
table — Mildred was thankful for it. Her mother, 
remarkably single-minded by nature, unsuspicious 


as the clay, would never think of attributing the 
fainting fit to any other cause. 

It may at once be mentioned that the singular 
misapprehension was on the part of Mrs. Arkell. 
She was so thoroughly imbued with the hope — it 
may be said with the notion — that her son would 
espouse Mildred, that when William broached the 
subject in a hasty and indistinct manner, she 
somehow fell into the mistake. The fault was 
probably William's. He did not say much, and his 
own fear of his mother's displeasure caused him to 
be anything but clear and distinct. Mrs. George 
Arkell caught at the communication with delight, 
believing it to refer to Mildred. She mentioned a 
word iierself, in her hasty looking forward, about a 
bridesmaid. The names of Mildred and Charlotte, 
not either of them mentioned above once, got con- 
fused together, and altogether the mistake took 
place, William himself being unconscious of it. 

William ran home that night, startling them with 
the news of the indisposition of Mildred. She had 
fainted in the street as they were going home. 
Mr. and Mrs. Arkell. lovin^^ Mildred as a dauo-hter, 
were inexpressibly concerned ; Charlotte Travice 
sat listening to the tale with wondeiing ears and 
eyes. " ^My aunt said it must be the effect of the 
cream tart at supper," he observed, " but I think 
tliat must be all rubbish. As if cream tart would 


make people faint ! And Mildred has eaten it 

''It was the agitation, my dear. It was nothing- 
else," whispered Mrs. Arkell to her guest, confi- 
dentially, as she bid her good night in the hall. 
*' A communication like that must cause agitation 
to the mind, you know." 

"What communication?" asked Charlotte, in 
surprise. For Mrs. Arkell spoke as if her words 
must necessai'ily be understood. 

'' Don't you know ? I thought William had 
most likely told you. Its about her marriage. But 
there, we'll talk of it to-morrow, I wont keep you 
now, Miss Charlotte, and I have to speak to Mr. 

Charlotte continued her way upstairs, wondering 
excessively ; not able, as she herself expressed it, 
to make head or tail of what Mrs. Arkell meant. 
Mrs. Arkell returned to the dining-room, asked her 
husband to sit down again for a few minutes, for he 
was standing with his bed-candle in his hand, and 
she made the communication. 

Elucidation was, however, near at hand, as it of 
necessity must be. On the following morning 
nothing was said at the breakfast-table ; but on 
their going into the manufactory, Mr. Arkell took 
his son into his private room. Mr. Arkell sat down 
before his desk, and opened a letter that waited on 


it before he spoke. William stood hy the fire, 
rather nervous. 

" So, young sir ! you are wanting, I hear, to 
encumber yourself with a wife I Don't you think 
you had better have taken one in your leading- 
strings ?" 

'^ I am twenty- five, sir," returned William, draw- 
ing himself up in all the dignity of the age. "And 
you have often said you hoped to see me settled 

before " 

"Before I died. Very true, you graceless boy. 
But you don't want me to die yet, I suppose ?" 
" Heaven forbid it !" fervently answered William. 
" Well," continued the good man — and William 
had known from the first, by the tone of the voice, 
the twinkle in the eye, that he was pleased instead 
of vexed — " I cannot but say you have chosen 
worthily. I suppose I must look over her being 

" Our business is an excellent one, and you have 
saved money besides, sir," observed William. 
" To look out for money with my wife would be 

" Not exactly that," returned Mr. Arkell, in his 
keen, emphatic tone. " But I suppose you can't 
have everything. Few of us can. She has been a 
good and affectionate daughter, William, and she 
will make you a good wife. I should have been 


better pleased though, had there been no relation- 
ship between you." 

" Kelationship !" repeated William. 

" For I share in the popular prejudice that exists 
against cousins marrying. But I am not going to 
make it an objection now, as you may believe, when 
I tell you that I foresaw long ago what your 
intimacy would probably end in. Your mother 
says it has been her cherished plan for years." 

William listened in bewilderment. " She is no 
cousin of mine," he said. 

" No what ?" asked Mr. Arkell, pushing his 
glasses to the top of his forehead, the better to 
stare at his son — for those glasses served only 
for near objects, print and writing — "is tlie 
thought of this marriage turning your head, my 
boy ?" 

"I don't understand what you are speaking of," 
returned William, perfectly mystified; "I only 
said she was not my cousin." 

"Why, bless my heart, what do you mean?" 
exclaimed Mr. Arkell. " She has been your cousin 
ever since she was born ; she is the daughter of 
my poor brother Dan ; do you want to disown the 
relationship now ?" 

"Are you talking of Mildred Arkell?" ex- 
claimed the astonished young man. " I don't 
want to marry her. Mildred is a very nice girl as 


a cousin, but I never thought of her as a wife. I 
want Charlotte Travice !" 

" Charlotte Travice !" 

The change in the tone, the deep pain it betrayed, 
struck a chill on WiUiam's heart. Mr. Arkell 
gazed at him before he again broke the silence. 

" How came you to tell your mother yesterday 
that you wanted to marry Mildred ?" 

" I never did tell her so, sir ; I told her I wished 
to marry Charlotte." 

Mr. Arkell took another contemplative stare at 
his son. He then turned short away, quitted the 
manufactory by his own private entrance, walked 
across the yard, past the coach-house and 
stable, and went straight into the presence of his 

"A pretty ambassador you would make at a 
foreign court !" he began ; '' to mistake your 
credentials in this manner !" 

Mrs. Arkell was seated alone, puzzling herself 
with a lap-full of patchwork, and wishing Mildred 
was there to get it into order. Every now and 
then she would be taken with a sewing fit, and do 
about two stitches in a morning. She looked up 
at the strange address, the mortified tone. 

" You told me ^Yilliam wanted to marry Mildred!" 

" So he does." 

" So he does not," was ^Ir. Arkell's answer. 


" tie ^vants to marry your fine lady visitor, Miss 
Charlotte Travice." 

Mrs. Arkell rose up in consternation, disregardful 
of the work, which fell to the ground. " You must 
be mistaken," she exclaimed. 

"No ; it is you who have been mistaken. Wil- 
liam says he did not speak to you of Mildred ; 
never thought of her as a wife at all ; he spoke to 
you of Charlotte Travice." 

"Dear, dear!" exclaimed Mrs. Arkell, a feeling 
very like unto faintness coming over her spirit ; 
" I hope it is not so ! I hope still there may be 
some better elucidation." 

" There can be no other elucidation, so far, than 
this," returned Mr. Arkell, his tone one of sharp 
negation. " The extraordinary part of the affair 
is, how you could have misinterpreted his meaning, 
and construed Charlotte Travice into Mildred 
Arkell ! I said we kept the girl here too long." 

He turned away again with the last sentence on 
his tongue. He was not sufficiently himself to 
stay and tall<: then. Mrs. Arkell, in those first few 
minutes, was as one who has just received a blow. 
Presently she despatched a message for her son ; 
she was terribly vexed with him ; and, like we all 
do, felt it might be a relief to throw off some of 
her annoyance upon him. 

" How came you to tell me yesterday you wanted 
VOL. I. 8 


to marry Mildred ?" she began when he appeared, 
her tone quite as sharp as ever was Mr. Arkell's. 

"I did not tell you so. My father has been 
saying something of the same sort, but it is a mis- 

"You must have told me so," persisted Mrs. 
Arkell ; " how else could I have imagined it ? 
Charlotte's name was never mentioned at all. Ex- 
cept — yes — I believe I said that she could be the 

" I understood you to say that Mildred could be 
the bridesmaid," returned WiUiam. "Mother, in- 
deed the mistake was yours." 

" We have made a fine mess of it between us," 
retorted Mrs. Arkell, in her vexation, as she ar- 
rived at length at the conclusion that the mistake 
was hers; "you should have been more explicit. 
What a simpleton they will think me ! Worse 
than that ! Do you know what I did yesterday ? ' 

" No." 

" I went straight to Mrs. Dan Arkell's as soon 
as you had spoken to me, and asked for Mildred to 
marry you." 


"1 did. It is the most unpleasant piece of 
business I was ever mixed up in." 

"Mildred will only treat it as a joke, of coarse ?" 

" Mildred treated it in earnest. Why should she 


•not ? When she came here last evening, she came 
expecting that she would shortly be your wife." 

They stood looking at each other, the mother 
and son, their thoughts traveUing back to the past 
night, and its events. What had appeared so 
strange in William's eyes was becoming clear ; the 
cross-purposes, as Mildred had expressed it, in 
their conversation with each other, and Mildred's 
fainting-fit, when the elucidation came. He very 
much feared, now that he knew the cause of that 
fainting-iit — he feared that Mildred's love was 

Mrs. Arkell's thoughts were taking the same 
course, and she spoke them : — " William, that 
fainting-fit must in some way have been connected 
with this. Mildred is not in the habit of fainting. " 

He made no reply at first. Loving Mildred ex- 
cessively as a cousin, he would not have hurt her 
feelings willingly for the whole world. A half- 
wish stole over him that it was the fashion for 
gentlemen to cut themselves in half when two 
ladies were in the case, and so gallantly bestow 
themselves on both. Mrs. Arkell noted the morti- 
fication in his expressive face. 

*' What is to be done, WiUiam ? Mrs. Dan told 
me she felt sure Mildred had been secretly attached 
to you for years." 

Mrs. Arkell might not have spoken thus openly 



to her son, but for a hope, now heginnmg to dawn 
within her — that his choice might yet fall upon 
Mildred. William made no reply. He smoothf^d 
his hand over his troubled brow ; he recalled more 
and more of the previous evening's scene ; he felt 
deeply perplexed and concerned, for the happiness 
of Mildred was dear to him as a sister's. But the 
more he reflected on the case, the less chance he 
saw of mending it. 

"You must marry Mildred," Mrs. Arkell said 
to him in a low tone. 

'^ Impossible !" he hastily rejoined ; " I cannot do 

" But I made the offer for her to her mother ! 
Made it on your part." 

" And I made one for myself to Charlotte." 

An embarrassed, mortified silence. Mrs. Arkell, 
an exceedingly honourable woman, did not see a 
way out of the double dilemma any more than 
William did. 

"Do you know that I do not like her?"' re- 
sumed Mrs. Arkell, in a voice hoarse with emotion. 
" That I have grown to dislike her ? And what 
will become of Mildred?" 

" Mildred will get over it in no-time," he 
answered, already beginning to reason himself into 
a satisfactory state of composure and indifference, 
as people like to do. " She is a girl of excellent 


common souse, and will see the thing in its proper 

Strange perhaps to say, Mrs. Arkell fell into the 
same train of reasoning when the first moments 
of mortification had cooled down. She saw Mrs. 
Dan, and intimated that she had heen under an 
unfortunate mistake, which she could only apolo- 
gise for. Mrs. Dan, a sober-minded, courteous old 
lady, who never made a fuss about anything, and 
had never quarrelled in her life, said she hoped she 
had been mistaken as to Mildred's feelings. And 
when Mrs. Arkell next saw Mildred, the latter's 
manner was so quiet, so unchanged, so almost in- 
different, that Mrs. Arkell repeated with com- 
placency William's words to herself: "Mildred 
will get over it in no-time." 

What mattered the searing of one heart ? How 
many are there daily blighted, and the world knows 
it not ! The world went on its way in Wester- 
bury without reference to the feelings of IMildred 
Arkell ; and poor Mildred went on hers, and made 
no sign. 

The marriage went on — that is, the preparations 
for it. When a beloved and indulged son an- 
nounces that he has fixed his heart upon a lady, and 
intends to make her his wafe, consent and apj)roval 
generally follow, provided there exists no very 
grave objection against her. There existed none 


against Miss Tra\7ice ; and she made herself so 
pleasant and delightful to Mr. and Mrs. Arkell, 
when once it was decided she was to marry 
William, that they nearly fell in love with her 
themselves, and became entirely reconciled to the loss 
of Mildred as a daughter-in-law. The " charming 
little house" spoken of by WiUiam, was taken and 
furnished ; and the wedding was to take place 
the end of April, Charlotte being married from Mr. 

One item in the original programme was not 
carried out : Mildred refused to act as bridesmaid. 
Mrs. Arkell was surprised. The intimacy of the 
two families had been continued as before ; for 
Mildred, in all senses of the word, had condemned 
herself to suffer in silence; and she was so quiet, 
so undemonstrative, that Mrs. Arkell believed the 
blow was quite recovered — if blow it had been. 
Mildred placed her refusal on the plea of her 
mother's health, which was beginning seriously to 
decline. Mrs. Arkell did not press it, for a half- 
suspicion of the true cause arose in her mind. 

" Your sister must come down now, whether or 
not," she said to Charlotte. 

Charlotte looked up hastily, a flush of annoy- 
,ance on her bright cheek. Miss Charlotte had per- 
sistently refused Mrs. Arkell's proposal to invite 
her sister to the wedding ; had turned a deaf ear 


to Mrs. Arkell's remonstrance that it was not fit or 
seemly this only sister should be excluded. Char- 
lotte had carried her point hitherto; but Mrs. 
Arkell intended to carry hers now. 

" Betsey can't bear visiting," she said, with pout- 
ing lips ; " she would be sure to refuse if you did 
ask her." 

" She would surely not refuse to come to 
her sister's marriage ! You must be mistaken, 

" She has never visited anywhere in all her life ; 
has not been out, so far as I can call to mind, for a 
single day — has never drank tea away from home," 
urged Charlotte, who seemed strangely annoyed. 
" I have said so before." 

"All the more reason that she should do so 
now," returned Mrs. Arkell. " Charlotte, my dear, 
don't be foolish ; I shall certainly send for her." 

" Then I shall write and forbid her to come," re- 
turned Charlotte ; and she bit her lip for saying it 
as soon as the words were out. 

"My dear!" 

" I did not mean that, dear Mrs. Arkell," she 
pleaded, with a winning expression of repentance 
and a merry laugh ; "but indeed it will not do to 
invite poor Betsey here." 

" Very well, my dear." 

But in spite of the apparently acquiescent " very 


well," Mrs. Ai'kell remained finii. Whether it was 
that she detected something false in the laugh, or 
that she chose to let her future daughter-in-law see 
which was mistress, or that she deemed it would not he 
right to ignore Miss Betsey Travice on this coming 
occasion, certain it was that Mrs. Arkell wrote a 
pressing mandate to the younger lady, and en- 
closed a five-pound note in the letter. And she 
said nothing to Charlotte of what she had done. 

It was about this time that some definite news 
arrived in Westerbury of Robert Carr. He, the 
idle, roving, spendthrift spirit, had become a clerk 
in Holland. He had obtained a situation, he best 
knew how, in a merchant's house in Rotterdam, 
and appeared, so far, to have really settled down 
to steadiness. It would seem that the remark to 
William Arkell, " If I do make a start in life, rely 
upon it, I succeed," was likely to be borne out. He 
had taken this clerkship, and was working as hard 
as any clerk ever worked yet. Whether the in- 
dustry would last was another thing. 

Mr. John Carr, the squire's son, was the one to 
bring the news to Westerbury. Mr. John Carr 
appeared to be especially interested in his cousin's 
movements and doings : near as he w^as known to 
be in money matters, he had actually gone a 
journey to Rotterdam, to find out all about Robert. 
Mr. John Carr did not fail to remember, and hardly 


cared to conceal from the world that he remem- 
bered, that, failing Robert, who had been threatened 
times and again with disinheritance, he might surely 
look to be his uncle's heir. However it may have 
been, Mr. John Carr w^ent to Rotterdam, saw 
Robert, stayed a few days in the place, and then 
came home again. 

" Has he married the girl ?'" was Squire Carrs 
first question to his son. 

" No," replied John, gloomily ; for, of course it 
would have been to his interest if Robert had mar- 
ried her. Squire Carr and his son knew of Mar- 
maduke's oath to disinherit Robert if he did marry 
Martha Ann Hughes ; and they knew that he 
would keep his word. 

"' Is the girl with him still ?" 

" She's with him fast enough ; I saw her 

" John, he may have married her in London." 

"He did not, though. I said to Robert I supposed 
they had been married in London. He flew into 
one of his tempers at the supposition, and said he 
had never been inside a church in London in his 
life, or within fifty miles of it ; and I am sure he 
was speaking the truth. He told me afterwards, 
when we were having a little confidential talk to- 
gether, that he never should marry her, at any 
rate as long as his father lived ; .and she did not 


expect him to do it. He had no mind, he added, 
to oe disinherited." 

This news oozed out to Westerbury, and Mr. 
John was vexed, for he did not intend that it should 
ooze out. Amidst other ears, it reached that of 
Mr. Carr. "A cunning man in his own conceit," 
quoth he to a friend, alluding to his brothers son, 
"but not quite cunning enough to win over me. 
If Robert marries that girl, 111 keep my word, and 
not bequeath him a shilling of my money ; but I'll 
not leave it to John Carr, or any of his brood.' 

Had this news touching Robert's life in Holland 
needed confirmation, such might have been supplied 
to it by a letter received from Martha Ann Hughes 
by her sister Mary. The shock to Mary Hughes 
had been, no doubt, very great, and she had 
written several letters since, begging and praying 
Martha Ann to urge Mr. Robert Carr to marry her, 
even now. For the first time ^Martha Ann sent an 
answer, just about the period that Mr. John Carr 
was in Holland. It was a long and very nicely- 
wiitten letter ; but to Mary Hughes's ear there was 
a vein of repentant sadness running throughout it. 
It was not likely Mr. Robert would marry her now, 
she said, and to urge it upon him would be worse 
than useless. She had chosen her own path and 
must abide by it ; and she did not see that what 
s]ie had done ought to cause people to reflect upon 


her sisters. Mary's saying that it did, must be all 
nonsense — or ought to be. Her sisters had done 
their part by her well ; and if she had repaid them 
ill, that ought to be only the more reason for the 
world showing them additional kindness and re- 
spect : Mary would no doubt live to prove this. 
For herself she was not unhappy. Kobert was 
quite steady, and had a good clerkship in a mer- 
chant's house. He was as kind to her as if they 
had been married twice over ; and her position was 
not so unpleasant as Mary seemed to imagine, for 
nobody knew but what she was his wife — though, 
for the matter of that, they had made no acquaint- 
ances in the strange town. 

Mary Hughes blinded her eyes with tears over 
this letter, and in her unhappiness lent it to any- 
one who cared to see it. And her strong-minded 
but more reticent sister, when she found out what 
she was doing, angrily called her a fool for her 
pains, and tore the letter to pieces before her face. 
But not before it had been heard of by Mr. Carr. 
For one, who happened to get hold of it, reported 
the contents to him. 




They were grouped together in Mrs. Arkell's sit- 
ting-room, their faces half-indistinct in the growing 
twilight. Mrs. Arkell herself, doing nothing as 
usual ; Mildred hy her side, sewing still, although 
Mrs. Arkell had told her she was trying her eyes ; 
Charlotte Travice, with a flush upon her face and 
a nervous movement of the restless foot — signs of 
anger suppressed, to those who knew her well; 
and a stranger, a young lady, whom you have not 
seen before. 

Had anyone told you this young lady and Char- 
lotte were sisters, you had disputed the assertion, 
so entirely dissimilar were they in all ways. A 
quiet little lady, this, of twenty years, with a smooth, 
fair face, somewhat insipid, for all its good sense ; 
light blue eyes, truthful as Charlotte's were false ; 
small features, and light hair, worn plainly. Per- 
haps what might have struck a beholder as the 
most prominent feature in Betsey Travice was her 


• excessive natural meekness ; nay, humility would 
be the better word. She was meek in mind, in 
temper, in look, in manner, in speech ; humble 
always. She sat there at the fire, her black bonnet 
laid beside her, for the girl had felt cold after her 
journey, and the fire was more welcome to her than 
the going upstairs to array herself for attraction 
would have been to Charlotte. The weather was 
very cold for the close of April, and the coach — 
it was a noted circumstance in its usual punctuality 
— had been half an hour behind its time. She sat 
there, sipping the hot cup of tea that Tring had 
brouglit her, declining to eat, and feeling miserably 
uncomfortable, as she saw that, to one at least, she 
was not welcome. 

That one was her sister. Mrs. Arkell had kept 
the secret well ; and not until the evening of the 
arrival — but an hour, in fact, before the coach was 
expected in — was Charlotte told of it. 

" Tring, or somebody, has been putting two 
pillows upon my bed," remarked Charlotte, who 
had run up to her bedroom to get a book. " 1 
wonder what that's for." 

*'You are going to have a bedfellow tonight, 
my dear," said Mrs. Arkell. 

*' A bedfellow 1 ' echoed Charlotte, in wonder. 
" Who is it?" 

" Your sister." 


" Who ?" cried out Charlotte ; and tlie sharp, 
passionate, uncontrolled tone struck on their ears 

" I told you I should have your sister down to 
the wedding,"' quietly returned Mrs. Arkell. " In 
my opinion it would have been unseemly and 
unkind not to do so. She is on her road now. 
Mildred has come in to help me welcome her. 
Betsey is Mrs. Dan's godchild, you know." 

" And Mildred knew she was coming ?" retorted 
Charlotte, as if that were a further grievance ; and 
she spoke as fiercely as she dared, compatible with 
her present amiability as bride-elect. 

" Mildred knew it from the first." 

Of course there was no help for it now. Betsey 
was on her road down, as Mrs. Arkell expressed it, 
and it was too late to stop her, or to send her back 
again. Charlotte made the best of it that she could 
make, but never had her temper been nearer an 
explosion ; and when Betsey arrived she took care 
to let her see that she had better not have come. 

" And now, my dear, that you are warmed and 
refreshed a little, tell me if you were not glad to 
come," said Mrs. Arkell, kindly, as Betsey Travice 
put the empty cup on the table, and stretched out 
one small, thin hand to the blazing warmth. 

" I was very glad, ma'am," was the reply, delivered 
in the humble, gentle, deprecatory tone which cha- 


racteiized Betsey Travice, no matter to whom she 
spoke. " I was glad to have the opportunity of 
seeing Charlotte, she had been gone away so long ; 
and I shall like to see a wedding, for I have never 
seen one ; and I was very glad to come also for 
another thing." 

" What is that ?" asked Mrs. Arkell, yearning to 
the pleasant, single-minded tone — to the truthful, 
earnest eyes. 

" Well, ma'am, I'm afraid I was getting over- 
worked. Though it would have seemed ungrateful 
to kind Mrs. Dundyke to say so, and I never did 
say it. The children were heavy to carry about the 
kitchen, and up and down stairs ; and the waiting 
on the lodgers was worse than usual. I used to 
have such a pain in my side and hack towards 
night, that I did not know how to keep on." 

Charlotte Travice was in an agony. It was pre- 
cisely these revelations that she had dreaded in a 
visit from Betsey. That Betsey had to work like a 
horse at Mrs. Dundyke's, Charlotte thought ex- 
tremely probable ; but she had no mind that this 
state of things should become known at Mrs. 
Arkell's. In her embarrassment, she was unwise 
enough to attempt to deny the fact. 

"Where's the use of your talking like this, 
Betsey ?' she indignantly asked. *-If you did at- 
tend a little to the children — as nursery governess — 


you need not have carried them about, making a 
slave of yourself." 

" But you know how young they are, Charlotte ! 
You know that they need to be carried. I would not 
have cared had it been only the children. There 
was all the house work and the waiting." 

" But what had you to do with this, my dear ?" 
asked Mrs. Arkell, a little puzzled, while Charlotte 
sat with an inflamed face. 

Betsey Travice entered on the explanation in de- 
tail. Mrs. Dundy ke cooked for her lodgers herself — 
and she generally had two sets of lodgers in the 
house — and kept a servant to wait upon them. Six 
weeks ago the servant had left — she said the place 
was too hard for her — and Mrs. Dundyke had not 
found one to her mind since. She got a char- 
woman in two or three times a week, and Betsey 
Travice had put herself forward to help with the 
work and the waiting. She had made beds and 
swept rooms, and laid cloths for dinner, and carried 
up dishes, and handed bread and beer at table, and 
answered the door ; in short, had been, to all intents 
and purposes, a maid of all work. 

To see her sitting there, and quietly telling this, 
was not the least curious portion of the tale. She 
looked a lady, she spoke as a lady — nay, there was 
something especially winning and refined in her 
voice; and she herself seemed altogether so incom- 


patible with, the work she confessed to have passed 
her later days in, that even Mildred Arkell gazed at 
her in fixed surprise. 

" You are a fool !" burst forth Charlotte, betNveen 
rage and crying. " If that horrible woman, that 
Mrs. Dundyke, thrust such degrading work upon 
you, you ought not to have done it." 

" Oh ! Charlotte, don't call her that ! She is a 
kind woman ; you know she is. If you please, 
ma'am, she's as kind as she can be," added Betsey, 
turning to Mrs. Arkell, in her anxiety for justice to 
be done to Mrs. Dundyke. " And for the work, I 
did not mind it. It's not as if I had never done 
any. I had to do all sorts of work in poor mamma's 
time, and I am naturally handy at it. I am sorry 
you should be angry with me, Charlotte." 

'•' I don't think it was exactly the sort of work 
your friend Mrs. Dundyke should have put upon 
you," remarked Mrs. Arkell. 

" But there was no help for it, ma'am," repre- 
sented Betsey. " The work was there, and had to 
be done by somebody. That servant left us at a 
pinch. She had a quarrel with her mistress about 
some dripping that was missing, and she went off 
that same hour. I began to do what I could of 
myself, without being asked. Mrs. Dundyke did 
not like my doing it, any more than Cliarlotte does, 
but there was nobody else, and I could not bear to 

VOL. I. 9 


seem ungrateful. When Charlotte came here I had 
but sixpence left in my purse, and Mrs. Dundyke 
has bought me shoes and things that I have wanted 
since, from her own pocket." 

A dead silence. Charlotte Travice felt as if she 
were going to have brain fever. Could the earth 
have opened then, and swallowed up Betsey, it had 
been the greatest blessing, in Charlotte's estima- 
tion, ever accorded her. 

"What are your prospects for the future, 
Betsey ?" quietly asked Mrs. Arkell. 

" Prospects, ma'am ? I have not any. At least" 
— and a sudden blush overspread the fair face — 
" not at present." 

" But you cannot go on waiting on Mrs. Dun- 
dyke's lodgers. It is not a desirable position for 
yourself, nor a suitable one for your father's 

" I shall not have to do that again. Mrs. Dun- 
dyke has engaged a good servant now ; indeed, I 
could not else have come away ; when I return, I 
shall only attend to the two children, and do the 

" I think we must try and find you something 
better, Betsey." 

" Oh, ma'am, you are very kind to interest your- 
self for me," was the reply ; " but I have promised 
myself to Mrs. Dundyke for twelve months to 


come. I am very happy there ; and when the 
work's over at night, we sit in her little parlour ; 
she goes to sleep, and David does his accounts, and 
I darn the socks and stockings. You cannot think 
how comfortable and quiet it is." 

" Who is David ?" inquired Mrs. Arkell. 

" Mrs. Dundyke's son. He is clerk in a house 
in Fenchurch-street, in the day ; and he keeps 
books and that, for anybody who will employ him 
at night. Sometimes he has to bring them home 
to do. He is very industrious." 

** What did you mean by saying you had pro- 
mised yourself to Mrs. Dundyke for a twelve- 
month ?" 

" It was when I was coming away. She cried 
at parting, and said she supposed she should never 
see me again, now I was coming to be with Char- 
lotte and her grand acquaintances. I told her I 
should be sure to come back to her very soon, and 
I would stop a whole year with her, if she liked. 
She said, was it a promise ; and I told her it was. 
Oh ! ma'am, I would not be ungrateful to Mrs. 
Dundyke for the world I I should have had no 
home to go to when Charlotte 'came here, but for 
her. All our money was gone, and Mrs. Dundyke 
had been letting us stop on then, ever so long, 
without any pay. Besides, I shall like to be 
with her." 



If Charlotte could have cut her sister's tongue 
out, she would most decidedly have done it. To 
own such a sister at all, was bad enough ; but to 
be compelled to sit by while these revelations were 
made to her future mother-in-law, to her rival 
Mildred, was dreadful. If Charlotte had disliked 
Mildred before, she hated her now. The implied 
superiority of position which it had been her plea- 
sure from the first to assume over Mildred, would 
now be taken for what it was worth. She flung 
her arms up with a gesture of passionate pain, and 
approached Mrs. Arkell. Had Betsey confessed to 
having passed her recent months in housebreaking, 
it had sounded less despicable to Charlotte's pre- 
tentious mind than this ; and a dread had rushed 
over her, whether Mrs. Arkell might not, even at 
that eleventh hour, break off the union with her 

" Mrs. Arkell, I pray you, do not notice this I" 
she said, her voice a wail of passion and despair. 
" It has, I am sure, not been as bad as Betsey makes 
it out ; she could not have degraded herself to so 
great an extent. But you see liow it is. She is 
but half-witted at best, and anyone might impose 
upon her." 

Half-witted ! Mrs. Arkell smiled at the look of 
surprise rising to Betsey's eyes at the charge. 
Charlotte's colour was going and coming. 


" On tlie contrary, Charlotte, I should give your 
sister credit for a full portion of good plain sense. 
Why should you be angry with her ? The sort of 
work was not suitable for her ; but it seems she 
could not help herself." 

" I'd rather hear that she had gone out and 
swept the crossings in the streets ! I knew how it 
would be if you had her down ! I knew she would 
disgrace me !" 

Mrs. Arkell took Betsey's hand in hers. The 
young face was distressed ; the blue eyes shone 
with tears. "J do not think you have disgraced 
anyone, Betsey ; I think you have been a good girl. 
Charlotte," Mrs. Arkell added, very pointedly, " I 
would rather see your sister what she is, than a 
fine lady, stuck up and pretentious." 

Did Charlotte unclerstand the rebuke ? She 
made no sign. Tring came in with lights ; it 
caused some little interruption, and wdiile they were 
calming down again from the past excitement, 
Betsey Travice took the opportunity to approach 
Mrs. Arkell with a whisper. 

"I don't know how to thank you for your 
kindness to me, ma'am, not only in inviting mo 
here, but in sending me the money in the letter. 
If ever I have it in my power to repay it, you will 
not find me ungrateful. I do not mean the money ; 
I mean the kindness. 


" Hush, child ! " said Mrs. Arkell, and patted her 
smooth fair hair. 

" There was always something deficient in 
Betsey's mind/' Charlotte was condescending to 
say to Mildred Arkell. " It is a great misfoiiune. 
Papa used to say times and again that Betsey was 
not a lady ; never would he one. Will you believe 
me, that once, when she was about ten I thinlv, 
she fell into a habit of curtseying to gentlepeople 
when she met them in the street, and we could 
hardly break her of it! Papa would have been 
quite justified, in my opinion, had he then put 
her into an asylum or a reformatory, or something 
of the kind." 

" She does not strike me — as my aunt has just 
remarked — as being deficient in sense." 

" In plain, rough, every-day sense perhaps she 
is not. But there's something wanting in her, for 
all that. Pier notions are not those of a lady, 
if you can understand. You hear her speak of 
the work that horrid landlady has made her do — 
well, she feels no shame in it." 

Before Mildred could answer, Mr. Arkell and 
William entered, big with some local news. They 
kindly welcomed the meek-looking young strangei', 
and then spoke it out. 

Edward Hughes, the brother of the sisters so 
frequently mentioned, had bid adieu to Westerbury 


for ever. Whether he had at lengtli become sick of 
the condemnatory comments the to"wn had not yet 
forgotten to pass on Martha Ann, certain it was, 
that he had suddenly sold off' 'his stock in trade, 
and gone away, en route for Australia. For some 
little time past he had said it was his intention to 
go ; the two sisters also had spoken of it with a 
kind of dread ; but it was looked upon by most 
people as idle talk. However, an opportunity 
arose for the disposing advantageously of his 
business and stock; he embraced it without an 
hour's delay, and was already on his road to 
Liverpool to take ship. The town could hardly 
believe it, and concluded he was gone to escape 
the reflections on Martha Ann — although he had 
shown sufficient equanimity over them in general. 
People needn't bother him about it, he had been 
wont to say. They should talk to the one who 
had been the cause of the mischief, Mr. Carr's 
fine gentleman of a son. 

" What a blow for the two sisters ! " exclaimed 
Mildred. '^ What will they do ? " 

" Nay, my dear, they have their business," said 
Mr. Arkell. " I don't suppose their brother con- 
tributed at all to their support. On the contrary, 
people say he had been saving all he could to 
emigrate with." 

" I don't know that I altogether alluded to 


money, Uncle George. It seems very sad for 
them to be left alone." 

"It is sad for them, ' said Mrs. Arkell, agreeing 
with Mildred. " First Martha Ann, and now 
Edward ! — it is a cruel bereavement. Tring says — 
and I have noticed it myself — that Mary Hughes 
has not been the same since that day's misfortune, 
three or four months ago." 

"Ah," said Mr. Arkell, drawing a long breath, 
" I wish I had had the handling of Mr. Robert 
Carr that day ! " The subject was a sore one with 
him, and ever would be. William betieved, in his 
heart, that he had never been forgiven for having 
given the permission for the carriage that un- 
lucky morning. 

They continued to speak of the Hughes's and 
their affairs, and the interest of Betsey Travice 
appeared to be awakened. She had risen to go up- 
stairs, but halted near the door, listening still. 

"And now tell me," began Charlotte, when 
they were alone together in the chamber, "how 
you dared so to disgrace me ! " 

" Oh, Charlotte, how have I disgraced you ? 
Do not be unkind to me. I wish I had not come." 

"I wish it too with all my heart! AVhy did 
you come ? How on earth could you think of 
coming ? What possessed you to do it ? " 

" Mrs. Arkell wrote for me. She wrote to Mrs. 


Dunclyke, asking her to see me oft". I should 
never else have thought of coming." 

"Did I write for you, pray? Could you not 
have known that if you were wanted I should have 
written, and, failing that, you were not to come ? 
You wicked girl ! " 

Betsey hurst into tears. She had been do- 
mineered over in this manner, by Charlotte, all 
her life ; and she took it with appropriate humility 
and repentance. 

"' Chaiiotte, you know I'd lay down my hfe 
to do you any good ; why are you so angry with 
me ? " 

" And you do do me good, don't you !" retorted 
Charlotte. "Look at the awful disgrace you have 
this very evening brought upon me !" 

"What disgrace?" asked Betsey, her blue eyes 
bespeaking compassion from the midst of her tears. 

" Good heavens ! what an idiot ! ' uttered the 
exasperated Charlotte. " She asks what disgrace ! 
Did you not proclaim yourself before them a ser- 
vant of all work — a scourer of rooms, a blacker of 
grates, a " 

" Stop, Charlotte ; I have not done either of 
those things — Mrs. Dundyke would not let me. I 
made beds and waited on the drawing-room, and 
such-hke light duties. I did this, but I did not 
black grates." 


" And if you did do it, was there any necessity 
for your proclaiming it ? Had you not the sense 
to know that for my sister to avow these things 
was to me the very hitterest humiliation ? Not for 
your doing them," tauntingly added Charlotte, in 
her passion, " for you are worth nothing better ; 
but because you are a sister of mine." 

Betsey "s sobs were choking her. 

" Where did you get the money to come down?" 
resumed Charlotte. 

'' Mrs. Arkell sent it me, Charlotte. There was 
a live-pound note in her letter." 

It seemed to be getting worse and worse. Char- 
lotte sat down and poked the fire fiercely, 
Tring having lighted one in compassion to 
the young visitors evident chilly state. Betsey 
checked her sobs, and bent down to kiss her 
sister's neck. 

" Somehow I always offend you, Charlotte ; but 
I never do it intentionally, as you know, and I 
hope you will forgive me. I so try to do what I 
can for everybody. I always hope that God will 
help me to do right. There was the work to be 
done at Mrs. Dundyke's, and it seemed to fall to 
me to do it." 

Charlotte was not all bad, and the tone of the 
words could but conciliate her. Her anger was 
subsiding into fretfulness. 


" The annoying thing is this, Betsey — that yov 
feel no disgrace in doing these things." 

"I should not do them by choice, Charlotte. 
But the work was there, as I say ; the servant was 
gone, and there was nobody but me to do it." 

" Well, well, it can never be mended now," re- 
turned Charlotte, impatiently. '^ Why don't you 
let it drop ?" 

Betsey sighed meekly. She would have been 
too glad to let it drop at first. Charlotte pointed 
imperiously to a chair near her. 

" Sit down there. You have tried me dreadfully 
this evening. Don't you know that in a few days 
I shall be Mrs. William Arkell ? His father is one 
of the largest manufacturers in Westerbury, and 
they are rolling in money. It was not pleasant, I 
can tell you, for my sister to show herself out in 
such a light. What do you think of him ?" 

" Oh, Charlotte ! I think you must be so happy ! 
I am so thankful, dear ! Working, and all that, 
does not matter for me ; but it would not have done 
for you. I never saw anyone so nice-looking." 

"As I?" 

" As Mr. William Arkell. How pleasant his 
manner is ! And, Charlotte, who is that young 
lady down there ? I did not quite understand. 
What a sweet face she has !" 

" You never do understand. It is the cousin : 


Mildred. She thought to be Mrs. William Arkell," 
continued Charlotte, triumphantly. " The very- 
first night I came here I saw it as plain as glass, 
and I took my resolution — to disappoint her. She 
has been loving William all her life, and fully 
meant him to marry her. I said I'd supplant her, 
and I've done it ; and I know our marriage is just 
breaking her heart." 

Betsey Travice — than whom one more generous- 
hearted, more unselfishly forgetful of self-interest, 
more earnestly single-minded, did not exist — felt 
frightened at the avowal. Had it been possible 
for her to recoil from her imperious sister, she had 
recoiled then. 

" Oh, Charlotte !" was all she uttered. 

" Why, you don't think I should allow so good 
a match to escape me, if I could help it ! And, 
besides, I love him," added Charlotte, in a deeper 

" But if oh, Charlotte ! pardon me for speak- 
ing — I cannot help it — if that sweet young lady 
loved him before you came ? had loved him for 

" Well r said Charlotte, equably. 

'' It cannot be right of you to take him from her." 

" Eight or not right, I have done it," said Char- 
lotte, with a passing laugh. '* But it is right, for 
he loves me, and not her." 


" What will she do ?" cried Betsey, after a pause 
of concern ; and it seemed that she asked tlie 
question of her own heart, not of Charlotte. 

" Dwindle down into an old maid," was the care- 
less answer: spoken, it is to be hoped, more in 
carelessness than heartlessness. " There, that's 
enough. Have you seen anything of Mrs. Nichol- 
son?" resumed Charlotte. 

"We have seen her a great many times, 
Charlotte ; she has been very troublesome to Mrs. 
Dundyke. She wanted your address here : but 
for me, Mrs. Dundyke would have given it to her. 
She said — but, perhaps, I had better not tell it 

. " What who said ? Mrs. Dundyke ? Oh, you 
may tell anything she said. I know her delight 
was to abuse me. ' 

" No, no, Charlotte ; it never was. She only 
said it was not right of you to order so many new 
things when you were coming here, unless you 
could pay for them. I went to ^Mrs. Nicholson 
and paid her a sovereign off the account." 

'•'How did you get the sovereign?" 

" Mrs. Dundyke made me a present of it — as a 
little recompense fur my work, she said. I did 
not so very much w^ant anything for myself, for I 
had just had new shoes, and I had not worn my 
best clothes : so I took it to Mrs. Nicholson." 


Did the young girl's generosity strike no chord 
of gratitude in Charlotte's heart ? This money, 
owing to Mrs. Nicholson, a fashionable dressmaker, 
had been Charlotte's worry during her visit. She 
would soon have it in her power to pay now. 

" I wonder what you'll do in future ?" resumed 
Charlotte, looking at her sister. " You can't ex- 
pect to find a home with me, you know. It would 
be entirely unreasonable. And you can't expect 
to marry, for I don't think you'd be likely to get 
anyone to have you. If " 

The exceedingly vivid blush that overspread the 
younger sister's cheek, the wondrous look of intel- 
ligence in the raised eyes, brought Charlotte's polite 
speech to a summary conclusion. "What's the 
matter ?" she asked. 

" Charlotte, if you would let me tell you," was 
the whispered answer. " Papa is dead, and mamma 
is dead, and there is no one left but you ; and I 
suppose I ought to tell you. I have promised to 
marry David." 

" Promised—— what ?" repeated Charlotte, in an 
access of consternation. 

" To marry David Dundyke. Not yet, of course ; 
not for a long while, I dare say. When he shall 
be earning enough to keep a wife." 

For once speech failed Charlotte Travice, and 
she sat gazing at her sister. Her equanimity had 


received several shocks that evening ; but none had 
been like this. She had seen but little of this 
David Dundyke; but, a vision of remembrance 
rose before her of an inferior, common young man, 
carrying coal-scuttles upstairs in his shirt-sleeves, 
who could not speak a word grammatically. 

"Are you really mad, Betsey?" 

'' I feared you would not like it, Charlotte ; and 
I know I can't expect to be as you are. But we 
shall be more than a hundred miles apart, so that 
it need not annoy you." 

Betsey had unconsciously put the matter in the 
right light. It was not because Mr. Dundyke was 
unfit to be Betsey's husband, but because he was 
unfit to be her brother-in-law, that the matter so 
grated on the ear of Charlotte. 

" I cannot expect much better, Charlotte ; I have 
not been educated as you have. Perhaps if I had 
been " 

" But the man is utterly beneath you !" burst 
forth Charlotte. " He is a common man. He 
used — if I am not mistaken — to black the boots 
and shoes for the house at night, and carry up the 
coal before he went out in the morning !" 

'^ But not as a servant, Charlotte ; only to save 
work for his mother. Just as I helped with the 
rooms and waited, you know. He does it all still. 
They were very respectable once ; but Mr. Dun- 


dyke died, and sbe had to struggle on, and she 
took this house in Upper Stamford-street. You 
have heard her tell mamma of it many a time." 

" Yon can't think of marrying him, Betsey ? You 

are something of a lady, at any rate; and he 

cannot so much as speak like a Christian." 

" He is very steady and industrious; he will be sure 
to get on," murmured Betsey. " Some of the clerks 
in the house he is in get a great deal of money." 

" What house is it ?" snapped Charlotte, begin- 
ning to feel cross again. "A public-house? — an 
eating-house ?" 

" It is a tea-house," said Betsey, mildly. " They 
are large wholesale tea-dealers ; whole shiploads of 
tea come consigned to them from China. He went 
into it first of all as errand-boy, and " 

" You need not have told that, I think." 

" And has got on by attention and perseverance 
to be a clerk. He is twenty-two now." 

" If he gets on to be a partner — if he gets on to 
be sole proprietor — you cannot separate him from 
himself !" shrieked Charlotte. " Look here, Betsey ; 
sooner than you should mari-y that low man, I'll 
have you to live with me. You can make your- 
self useful." 

"Thank you kindly, Charlotte, all the same; 
but I could not come to you. You see, you and I 
do not get on together. It is my fault, I know. 


being so inferior ; but I can't help it. Besides, I 
bave promised David Dundyke." 

Charlotte looked at her. "You do not mean 
to tell me that you have any love for this David 
Dundyke ?" 

Another bright blush, and Betsey cast down her 
pretty blue eyes. *' We have seen so much of 
each other, Charlotte," she said, in a tone of apo- 
logy ; " he brings the books home nearly every 
evening now, instead of doing them out." 

" Well, I shan't stop wdtli you," concluded 
Charlotte, moving to the door. " I'm afraid to stop, 
for I truly believe you are going on for Bedlam. 
And you'd better make haste, if you want to do any- 
thing to yourself. Supper will be ready directly." 

" One moment, Charlotte," said Betsey, detaining 
her — "I want to say only a word. They were 
speaking downstairs this evening of a family of the 
name of Hughes — a ^Ir. Edward Hughes, and some 

'^Well?" cried Charlotte. 

" I think they are related to Mrs. Dundyke. She 
has relatives in Westerbury of that name; she has 
mentioned it several times since you came down. 
One or two of the sisters are dressmakers." 

"Pleasant!" ejaculated Charlotte. "Are they 
intimate ?" 

"Not at all. I don't think they have met for 

VOL. I. 10 


years, and I am sure they never correspond. But 
when you were all speaking of the Hughes's to- 
night, I thought it must be the same. I did not 
like to say so." 

"And it's well you did not," was Charlotte's 
comment. " Those Hughes people have not been 
in good odour in Westerbury since last December." 

She went downstairs in a thoughtful mood, 
her brain at work upon the question of whether 
Betsey could be in her right mind. The revelation 
regarding Mr. David Dundy ke caused her really to 
doubt it. She, Charlotte Travice, had a sufficiently 
correct taste — to give her her due — and it would 
have been simply ^impossible to her to have associ- 
ated herself for life with anyone not possessing, 
outwardly at any rate, the attributes of a gentlemani 




The wedding day of Mr. William Arkell and Miss 
Travice dawned. All had gone well, and was going 
on well towards completion. You who have learnt 
to like Mildred Arkell, may probably have been in 
hopes that some impediment might arise to frus- 
trate the wedding — that the bride, after all, might 
be Mildred, not Charlotte. But it is in the 
chronicles of romance chiefly that this sort of 
poetical justice takes place. Weddings are not 
frustrated in real life ; and when I told you at the 
beginning that this was a story of real life, I told 
you the truth. The day dawned — one of the finest 
the close of April has ever seen — and the wedding 
party went to church to the marriage, and came 
home again when it was over. 

It was quite a noted wedding for those quiet 
days, and guests were bidden to it from far and 
near. That the bride looked charmingly lovely 

10— a 


was indisputable, and they called William Arkell a 
lucky fellow. 

A guest at the breakfast-table, but not in the 
church, was Mildred Arkell. She had wholly de- 
clined to be the bridesmaid ; but it was next to im- 
possible for her to decline to be at the breakfast. 
Put the case to yourselves, as Mildred had put it 
to herself in that past March night, that now 
seemed to be so long ago. Her resolve to pass over 
the affliction in silence ; to bear, and make no sign, 
involved its consequences — and they were, that 
social life must go on just as usual, and she must 
visit at her uncle's as before. Worse than any 
other thought to Mildred, was the one, that the 
teiTible blow to her might become known. She 
shrank with all the reticence of a pure-minded girl 
from the baring of her heart to others — shrank 
from it with a shivering dread — and Mildred felt 
that she would far rather die, than see her love 
suspected for one, who, as it now turned out, had 
never loved her. So she buried her misery within 
her, and went to Mr. Arkell's as before, not quite 
so frequently perhaps, but sufficiently so to excite 
no observation. She had joined in the plans and 
preparations for the wedding; had helped to fix 
upon the bride's attire, simply because she could 
not help herself How she had borne it, and sup- 
pressed within her heart its own agony, she never 


knew. Charlotte's keen bright eyes would at times 
be fixed on hers, as if they could read her soul's 
secret ; perhaps they did. William's rather seemed 
to shun her. But she had gone through it all, and 
borne it bravely; and none suspected how cruel 
was the ordeal. 

And here was Mildred at the wedding-breakfast ! 
There had been no escape for it. Peter went to 
church, but Mrs. Dan and Mildred arrived for 
breakfast only. Mildred, regarded and loved almost 
as a daughter of the house, had the place of honour 
assigned her next to William Arkell, his bride 
being on his other hand. None forgot how chaste 
and pretty Mildred looked that day ; paler it may 
have been than usual, but that's expected at a 
wedding. She wore a delicate pearl-grey silk, and 
her gentle face, with its sweet, sad eyes, had never 
been pleasanter to look upon. ** A little longer ! a 
little longer I" she kept murmuring to her own re- 
bellious heart. " May God help me to bear I" 

Perhaps the one who felt the most out of place 
at that breakfast-table, was our young friend. Miss 
Betsey Travice. Miss Betsey had never assisted at 
a scene of gaiety in her life — or, as she called it, 
grandeur ; and perhaps she wished it over nearly 
as fervently as another was doing. She wore a 
new shining silk of maize colour, the gift of Mrs. 
Arkell — for maize was then in full fashion for 


"bridesmaids — and Betsey felt particularly stiff and 
ashamed in it. What if the young gentleman on 
her left, who seemed to partake rather freely of the 
different wines, and to he a rollicking sort of youth, 
should upset something on her beautiful dress ! 
Betsey dared not think of the catastrophe, and she 
astonished him by suddenly asking him if he'd 
please to move his glasses to the other side. 

For answer, he turned his eyes full upon her, 
and she started. Very peculiar eyes they were, 
round and black, showing a great deal of the white, 
and that had a yellow tiuge. His face was sallow, 
but otherwise his features were rather fine. It was 
not the colour of the eyes, however, that startled 
Betsey Travice, but their expression. A ver}' 
peculiar expression, which made her recoil from 
him, and it took its seat firmly thenceforth in 
her memory. A talkative, agreeable soii of youth 
he seemed in manner, not as old by a year or two, 
Betsey thought, as herself; but, somehow, she 
formed a dishke to him — or rather to his eyes. 

" I beg your pardon — I did not catch what you 
asked me." 

" Oh, if you please, sir," meekly stammered 
Betsey, " I asked if you would mind moving the 
wine glasses to the other side ; all three of them 
are full." 

''And you are afraid of your dress," he said. 


good-naturedly, doing what she requested. " Such 
accidents do happen to me sometimes, for I have a 
trick of throwing my arms ahout. " 

''But, in spite of the good nature so evident on 
the surface, there was a hidden vein of satire appa- 
rent to Betsey's ear. She blushed violently, fear- 
ing she had done something dreadfully incon- 
gruous. "I wonder who he is?" she thought; 
amidst the many names of guests she had not 
caught his. 

Later, when all had left, save the Arkell family, 
and the bride and bridegroom were some miles on 
their honeymoon tour, Betsey ventured to put the 
question to Mildred — ^Who was the gentleman who 
had sat next to her at breakfast ? 

Poor Mildred could not recollect. The break- 
fast was to her one scene of confused remembrance, 
and she knew nothing save that she and William 
Arkell sat side by side. 

" I don't remember where you sat," she was 
obliged to confess to Betsey. 

" Nearly opposite to you, Miss Arkell. He had 
great black eyes, and he talked loud." 

" Oh, that was Ben Carr," interrupted Peter ; 
" he did sit next to you. He is Squire Carrs 
grandson. Did you see an old gentleman with a 
good deal of white hair, at the end of the table, 
near my mother ?" 


"Yes, I did," said Betsey ;" I thought what 
beautiful hair it was." 

" That was Squire Carr. I wonder, by the way, 
what brought Ben at the breakfast. Aunt," added 
Peter, turning to Mrs. Arkell ; " did you invite 
Benjamin Oarr ?" 

*'No, Peter, Benjamin was not invited," was the 
reply. " Squire Carr and his son were invited, but 
John declined. I don't much think he likes going 

" Afraid of being put to the expense of a coat, ' 
interrupted Peter. 

There was a general laugh, John Carr's pro- 
pensity to closeness in expenditure was well known. 
Mrs. Arkell resumed — 

" So when John Carr declined, your uncle asked 
for his eldest son, young Valentine, to come with 
the squire ; it seems, however, the squire brought 
Benjamin instead." 

" Kepoi-t runs that the squire favours his 
younger grandson more than he does his elder," 
remarked Peter. " For that matter, I don't know 
who does like young Valentine ; I don't, he is too 
mean-spirited. Why did you wish to know who it 
was. Miss Betsey ?" 

" Not for anything in particular, sir. What 
curious eyes he has got I" 

It was late when Mrs. Dan and her children went 


home. The evening had been a quiet one ; in no 
way different from the usual evenings at Mr. 
Arkell's. Mildred had borne up bravely, and been 
cheerful as the rest. 

But, oh ! the tension it had been to every nerve 
of her frame, every fibre of her heart ! Not until 
she was shut up in the quiet of her own room, did 
she know the strain it had been. She took her 
pretty dress off, threw a shawl on her shoulders, 
and sat down ; her brain battling with its misery, 
her hands pressed upon her throbbing temples. 

How long she thus sat she could not tell. I 
believe — I honestly and truly believe — that no 
sorrow the world knows, can be of a nature more 
cruel than was Mildred's that night ; certainly 
none could be more intensely felt. " How can I 
bear it ?" she moaned, " how can I bear it ? To 
see them come back here in their wedded happi- 
ness, and have to witness it, and live. Perhaps — 
after a time, if God will help me, I shall be " 

*' What on earth are you doing, Mildred ?' 

She started from her chair with a scream. So 
entirely had she believed herself secure from in- 
terruption, that in the first confused moments 
it seemed as if her thoughts and anguish had 
been laid bare. Mrs. Dan stood there in her 
night-dress, a candle in her hand. 

"You were moaning, Mildred. Are you ill?" 


" I — I am quite well, mamma," stammered 
Mildred, her words confused, and her face a fiery- 
red. " Do you want anything ?" 

" But how is it you are not undressed ? I had 
been in bed ever so long." 

'* I suppose I had fallen into a train of thought, 
and let the time slip away,'" answered ^lildred, 
beginning to undo her hair in a heap, as if to 
make up for the lost time. " Why have you come 
out of your bed, mamma ? ' 

" Child, I don't feel myself, and I thought Id 
come and call you. It is well, as it happens, that 
you are not undressed, for I think I should like a 
cup of tea made. If I drink it very hot, it may 
take away the pain.' 

"Where is the pain?" asked Mildred, beginning 
to put up her hair again, as hurriedly as she had 
undone it. 

" I scarcely know where it is ; I feel ill all over. 
The fact is, I never ought to go to these festivities," 
added Mrs Dan, hastening back to her own room. 
" They are sure to upset me." 

Alas I it was not the festivity that had " upset" 
Mrs. Dan ; but that her time was come. Another 
hour, and she was so much worse, that Peter had 
to be aroused from his bed, and go for their doctor. 
Mrs. Daniel Arkell was in danger. 

It may be deemed unfeeling, in some measure. 


to say it, but it was the best thing that could have 
happened for Mildred. It took her out of her own 
thoughts — away from herself. There was so much 
to do, even in that first night, which was only the 
commencement ; and it all fell on Mildred. Peter, 
with his timid heart, and unpractised hands, was 
utterly useless in a sick room, as book-worms in 
general are ; and their one servant, Ann, a young, 
inexperienced, awkward girl, was nearly as much 
so. Mustard poultices had to be got, steaming hot 
flannels, and many other things. Before Mildred 
had made ready one thing, another called for her, 
It was well it was so ! 

At seven o'clock, Peter started for his uncle's, 
and told the news there. Mr. Arkell went up 
directly; Mrs. Arkell a little later. Mrs. Dan's 
danger had become imminent then, and Mr. Arkell 
went himself, and brought back a physician. 

Later in the morning, Mildred was called down 
stairs to the sitting-room. Betsey Travice was 
standing there. The girl came forward, a pleading 
light in her earnest eye. 

" Oh, Miss Arkell ! if you wull only please to let 
me ! I have come to ask to help you." 

" To help me ! " mechanically repeated Mildred. 

" I am so good a nurse ; I am indeed ! Poor 
papa died suddenly, but 1 nursed mamma all 
through her last long illness ; there was only me 


to do everything, and she used to say that I was 
as handy as if I had leamt it in the hospitals. 
Let me try and help you !" 

" You are very, very kind," said Mildred, feeling 
inclined to accept the offer as freely as it was made, 
for she knew that she should require assistance 
if the present state of things continued. " How 
came you to think of it ?" 

" When Mrs. Arkell came home to breakfast this 
morning, she said how everything lay upon you, 
and that you would never be able to do it. I 
believe she was thinking of sending Tring; but I 
took courage to tell her what a good nurse I was, 
and to beg her to let me come. I said — if you 
will not think it presuming of me, Miss Arkell — 
that Mrs. Daniel was my Godmother, and I 
thought it gave me a sort of right to w^ait upon 

Mildred, undemonstrative Mildred, stooped down 
in a sudden impulse, and kissed the gentle face. 
" I shall be very glad of you, Betsey. Will you 
stay now ?" 

There was no need of farther words. Betseys 
bonnet and shawl were off in a moment, and she 
stood ready in her soft, black, noiseless dress. 

" Please to put me to do anything there is to do, 
Miss Arkell. Anything, you know. I am handy 
in the kitchen. I do any sort of rough work as 


handily as I can nurse. And perhaps your servant 
Avill lend me an apron." 

Three days only; three days of sharp, quick 
illness, and Mrs. Daniel Arkell's last hour arrived. 
Betsey Travice had not boasted unwarrantably, for 
a better, more patient, ay, or more skilful nurse 
never entered a sick chamber. She really was of 
the utmost use and comfort, and Mildred righteously 
believed that Heaven had been working out its 
own ends in sending her just at that time to 

It was somewhat singular that Betsey Travice 
should again be brought into the presence of the 
young gentleman to whose eyes she had taken so 
unaccountable a dislike. On that last day, when 
the final scene was near at hand, the maid came 
to the dying chamber, saying that Miss Arkell was 
wanted below ; a messenger had come over from 
Mr. John Carr, and was asking to see her in person. 

"I cannot go down now," was Mildred's answer; 
" you might have known that, Ann." 

" I did know it, miss, and I said it ; that is, I 
said I didn't think you could. But he wouldn't 
take no denial ; he said Mr. Carr had told him 

Giving herself no trouble as to who the " he" 
might be, Mildred whispered to Betsey Travice to 
go down for her, and mention the state of things. 


Excessively to Betsey's discomfiture, she found 
herself confronted hy the gentleman of the curious 
eyes, who held out his hand familiarly. 

His errand was nothing particular, after all ; but 
his father had expressly ordered him to see Miss 
Arkell, and convey to her personally his sympathy 
and inquiries as to her mother's state. For the 
news of Mrs. Dan's danger had travelled to Squire 
Carr's, and urgent business at home had alone pre- 
vented John Carr's coming over in person. As it 
was, he sent his son Ben. 

Betsey, more meek than ever, thanked him, and 
told him how ill Mrs. Daniel was; that, in point 
of fact, another hour or two would bring the end. 
It was quite impossible Miss Arkell could, under 
the circumstances, leave the chamber. 

" Of course she can't," he answered ; " and I'm 
very sorry to hear it. My father will go on at me, 
I dare say, saying it was my fault, as he generally 
does when anything goes contrary to his orders. 
But he'd not have seen her any the more had 
he come himself. You will tell me who you are ?" 
he suddenly continued to Betsey, without any 
break; ''I sat by you at the breakfast, but I 
forget your name." 

*'If you please, sir, it is Betsey Travice, ' was 
the reply, and the girl quite cowered as she stood 
under the blazo of those black and piercing eyes. 


" Betsey Travice ! and a very pretty name, too. 
You'll please to say everything proper for us up 
there," jerking his head in the direction of the 
upper floors. " Oh ! and I say, I forgot to add 
that my grandfather, the squire, intends to ride in 
to-morrow, and call." 

He shook hands with her in the passage, and 
vaulted out at the front door, a tall, strong, fine 
young fellow. And those eyes, which had so un- 
accountahly excited the disfavour of Miss Betsey, 
were generally considered the handsomest of the 

Betsey stole upstairs again, and whispered the 
message into Mildred's ear. " It was that tall, 
dark young man, with the black eyes, that sat by 
me at Charlotte's wedding breakfast." 

They waited on, in the hushed chamber : Peter, 
Mildred, Mr. and ]Mrs. Arkell, and Betsey Tra- 
vice. And at two o'clock in the afternoon the 
shutters were put up to the windows, through 
which Mrs. Daniel Arkell would never look again. 




A WEEK or two given to grief, and Mildred Arkell 
sat down to deliberate upon her plans for the 
future. It was impossible to conceal from herself, 
dutiful, loving, grieving daughter though she was, 
howwonderfully her mother's death had removed the 
one sole impediment to the wish that had for some 
little time lain uppermost in her heart. She wanted 
to leave Westerbury ; it was misery to her to re- 
main in it; but while her mother had lived, her 
place was there. All seemed easy now ; and in 
the midst of her bitter grief for that mother, Mil- 
dred's heart almost leaped at the thought that there 
was no longer any imperative tie to bind her to 
her home. 

She would go away from Westerbury. But how ? 
what to do ? For a governess Mildred had not 
been educated; and accomplishments were then 
getting so very general, even the daughters of the 
petty tradespeople learning them, that ^fildred felt 


in that capacity she should stand but little chance 
of obtaining a situation. But she might be a 
companion to an invalid lady, might nurse her, 
wait upon her, and be of use to her ; and that sort 
of situation she determined to seek. 

Quietly, and after much thought, she arranged 
her plans in her own mind ; quietly she hoped and 
prayed for assistance to be enabled to carry them 
out. Nobody suspected this. Mildred seemed to 
others just as she had ever seemed, quiet, unobtru- 
sive Mildred Arkell, absorbed in the domestic 
cares of her own home, in thought for the comfort 
of her not at all strong brother. Mildred went 
now but very little to her aunt's. Betsey Travice 
had returned to London, to the enjoyments of 
Mrs. Dundyke's household, which she had refused 
to abandon ; and William Arkell and his bride 
were not yet come home. 

" Peter," she said, one late evening that they were 
sitting together — and it was the first intimation of 
the project that had passed her lips — " I have been 
thinking of the future." 

" Yes ?" replied Peter, absently, for he was as 
usual disputing some knotty point in his mind, 
having a Greek root for its basis. " What about it?" 

** I am thinking of leaving home ; leaving it for 

The words awoke even Peter. He listened to 
VOL. I. 11 


her while she told her tale, listened without in- 
terrupting, he was so amazed. 

" But I cannot understand why you want to go," 
he said at last. 

" To he independent" Of course she was ready 
to assign any motive hut the real one. 

Peter could not understand this. She was in- 
dependent at home. " I don't know what it is 
you are thinking of, Mildred ! Our house will go 
on just the same ; my mother's death makes no 
difference to it. I kept it before, and I shall keep 
it still." 

" Oh yes, Peter, I know that. That is not it. 
I — in point of fact, I wish for a change of scene. 
I think I am tired of Westerhury." 

"But what can you do if you go away from it ?" 

" I intend to ask Colonel and Mrs. Dewsbury : 
I suppose you have no objection. They have many 
influential friends in London and elsewhere, and 
perhaps they might help me to a situation." 

" Why do you want to go to London ?" rejoined 
Peter, catching at the word. "It's full of traps 
and pitfalls, as people say. I don't know ; I never 
was there." 

" I don't want to go to London, in particular ; I 
don't care where I go." Anywhere — anywhere that 
would take her out of Westbury, she had nearly 
added ; but she controlled the words, and resumed 


calmly. " I would as soon go to London as to any- 
other place, Peter, and to any other place as to 
London. I don't mind where it is, so that I find a 
— a — sphere of usefulness." 

" I don't like it at all," said Peter, after a pause 
of deliberation. " There are only two of us left 
now, Mildred, and I think we ought to continue 

" I will come and see you sometimes." 

" But, Mildred " 

" Listen, Peter," she imperatively interrupted, 
" it may save trouble. I have made up my mind 
to do this, and you must forgive me for saying 
that I am my own mistress, free to go, free to come. 
I wished to go out in this way some time before 
my mother died ; but it was not right for me to 
leave her, and 1 said nothing. I shall certainly go 
now. I heard somebody once speak of the ' fever 
of change," she added, with a poor attempt at 
jesting; "I suppose I have caught it." 

" Well, I am sorry, Mildred : it's all I can say. 
I did not think you would have been so eager to 
leave me." 

The ready tears filled her eyes. " I am not eager 
to leave you, Peter; it will be my greatest grief. 
And you know if the thing does not work well, and 
I get too much buffeted by the world, I can but 
come back to you." 



It never occurred to Peter Arkell to interpose 
any sort of veto, to say you shall not go. He had 
not had a will of his own in all his life ; his mother 
and Mildred had arranged everything for hiru, and 
had Mildred announced her intention of becoming 
an opera dancer, he would never have presumed to 
gainsay it. 

The following morning Mildred called at Mrs. 
Dewsbury's. They lived in a fine house at the 
opposite side of the river ; but only about ten 
minutes' walk distance, if you took the near way, 
and crossed the ferry. 

One of the loveliest girls Mildred had ever in 
her life seen was in the drawing-room to which she 
w^as shown, to wait for ]\Irs. Dewsbury. It was Miss 
Cheveley, an orphan relative of Mrs. Dewsbui*y's, 
who had recently come to reside with her. She 
rose from her chair in courteous welcome to Mil- 
dred ; and Mildred could not for a few moments 
take her eyes from her face — from the delicate, 
transparent features, the rich, loving brown eyes, 
and the damask cheeks. The announcement, " Miss 
Arkell," and the deep mourning, had no doubt led 
the young lady to conclude that it was the tutor's 
sister. Mrs. Dewsbury came in immediately. 

" Lucy, will you go into the school-room," she 
said, as she shook hands w'ith Mildred, whom she 
knew, though very slightly. " The governess is 


giving Maria her music lesson, and the others are 

As Miss Cheveley crossed the room in acqui- 
escence, Mildred's eyes followed her — followed her 
to the last moment ; and she observed that Mrs. 
Dewsbury noticed that they did. 

" I never saw anyone so beautiful in my life," 
she said to Mrs. Dewsbury by way of apology. 

"Do you think so? A lovely face, certainly; 
but you know face is not everything. It cannot 
compensate for figure. Poor Miss Cheveley !" 

"Is Miss Cheveley's not a good figure ?" 

" Miss Cheveley's ! Did you not notice ? She is 

Mildred had not noticed it. She had been too 
absorbed in the lovely face. She turned to Mrs. 
Dewsbury, apologized for calling upon her, told her 
errand, that she wished to go out in the world, and 
craved the assistance of herself and Colonel Dews- 
bury in endeavouring to place her. 

"I know, madam, that you have influential 
friends in many parts of England," she said, " and 
it is this " 

"But in what capacity do you \vish to go out?" 
interrupted Mrs. Dew^sbury. " As governess ? ' 

"I would go as English governess," answered 
Mildred, with a stress upon the word. " But I do 
not understand French, and I know nothing of 


music or drawing : therefore I fear there is little 
chance for me in that capacity. I thought perhaps 
I might find a situation as companion ; as humble 
companion, that is to say, to make myself 

Mrs. Dewshury shook her head. " Such situa- 
tions are rare, Miss Arkell." 

" I suppose they are ; too rare, perhaps, for me 
to find. Eather than not find anything, I would 
go out as lady's maid." 

" As lady's maid !' repeated Mrs. Dewshury. 

Mildred's cheek burnt, and she suddenly thought 
of what the town would say. '' Yes, as lady^s maid, 
rather than not go," she repeated, firm in her reso- 
lution. " I think I have not much pride ; what T 
have, I must subdue." 

" But, Miss Arkell, allow me to ask — and I have 
a motive in it — whether you would be capable of a 
lady^s-maid''s duties ? 

" I think so,"' replied Mildred. " I would en- 
deavour to render myself so. I have made my own 
dresses and bonnets, and I used to malvc my 
mother^s caps until she became a widow; and I am 
fond of dressing hair." 

Mrs. Dewshury mused. " I think I have heard 
that you are well read, ]Miss Arkell ?" 

"Yes, I am," replied Mildred. " I am a 
thoroughly good English scholar ; and my father. 


whose taste in literature was excellent, formed 
mine. I could teach Latin to boys until they were 
ten or eleven," she added, with a half smile. 

" Do you read aloud luell ?" 

*' I believe I do. I have been in the habit of 
reading a great deal to my motlier." 

" Well now I will tell you the purport of my 
putting these questions, which I hope you have not 
thought impertinent," said Mrs. Dewsbury. " The 
last time Lady Dewsbury wrote to us — you may 
have heard of her, perhaps. Miss Arkell, the widow 
of Sir John ?" 

Mildred did not remember to have done so. 

" Sir John Dewsbury was my husband's brother. 
But that is of no consequence. Lady Dewsbury, 
the widow, is an invalid ; and the last time she 
wrote to us she mentioned in her letter that she was 
wishing to find some one who would act both as 
companion and maid. It was merely spoken of 
incidentally, and I do not know whether she is 
suited. Shall I write and inquire?" 

" Oh, thank you, thank you !" cried Mildred, her 
heart eagerly grasping at this faint prospect. " I 
shall not care what I do, if Lady Dewsbury will but 
take me." 

Mrs. Dewsbury smiled at the eagerness. She 
concluded that Mrs. Dans death had made a 
difference in their income, hence the wish to go 


out. Mildred returned home, said nothing to any- 
body of what she had done, and waited, full of hope. 

A short while of suspense, and then Mrs. Dews- 
bury sent for her. Lady Dewsbury's answer was 
favourable. She was willing to make the engage- 
ment, provided Miss Arkell could undertake what 
was required. 

" First of all," said Mrs. Dewsbury to her, " Lady 
Dewsbury asks whether you can bear confinement ?"' 

" I can indeed," replied Mildred. " And the 
better, perhaps, that I have no wish for aught else." 

" Are you a good nurse in sickness ? ' 

*' I nursed my mother in her last illness," said 
]\Iildred, with tears in her eyes. " It was a very 
short one, it is true ; but she had been ailing for 
years, and I attended on her. She used to say I 
must have been born a nurse." 

" Lady Dewsbury is a great invalid," continued 
the colonel's wife, " and what she requires is a 
patient attendant ; a maid, if you like to call it 
such ; but who will at the same time be to her a 
companion and friend. 'A thoroughly- well-brought- 
up person,' she writes, Mady-like in her manners 
and habits ; but not a fine lady who would object 
to make herself useful.' I really think you would 
suit. Miss Arkell." 

Mildred thought so too. '' I will serve her to 
the very best of my power, Mrs. Dewsbury, if she 


will but try me;" and Mrs. Dewsbury noted the 
same eagerness that had been in her tone before, 
and smiled at it. 

" She is willing to try you. Lady Dewsbury 
has, in fact, left the decision to the judgment of 
myself and the colonel. She has described exactly 
what she requires, and has empowered us to engage 
you, if we think you will be suitable." 

"And will you engage me, Mrs. Dewsbury?" 

" I will engage you now. The next question is 
about salary. Lady Dewsbury proposes to give at 
the rate of thirty pounds per annum for the first 
six months ; after that at the rate of forty pounds ; 
and should you remain with her beyond two years, 
it would be raised to fifty." 

" Fifty !" echoed Mildred, in her astonishment. 
" Fifty pounds a year ! For me !" 

" Is it less than you expected ?" 

" It is a great deal more," was the candid answer. 
" I had not thought much about salary. I fancied 
I might be offered perhaps ten or twenty pounds." 

Mrs. Dewsbury smiled. " Lady Dewsbury is 
liberal in all she does, Miss x\rkell. I should not 
be surprised, were you to remain with her any con- 
siderable length of time, several years for instance, 
but she would double it." 

But for the skeleton preying on Mildred Arkell's 
heart — the bitter agony that never left it by night 


or by day — she would have walked home, not 
knowing whether she trod on her head or her heels. 
The prospect of fifty pounds a-year to an inex- 
peiienced girl, who, perhaps, had never owned more 
than a few shillings at a time in her life, was 
enough to turn her head. 

But it was not all to be quite plain saihng. 
Mildred had not disclosed the project to her aunt 
yet. Truth was, she shrunk from the task, fore- 
seeing the opposition that would inevitably ensue. 
But it must no longer be delayed, for she was to 
depart for London that day week, and she went 
straight to Mrs. Arkell's. As she had expected, 
Mrs. Arkell met the news with extreme astonish- 
ment and anger. 

" Do you know what you are doing, child ! 
Don't talk to me about being a burden upon 
Peter ! You " 

" Aunt, hear me !" she implored : and be it ob- 
served, that to Mrs. Arkell, Mildred put not 
forth one word of that convenient plea of " seeing 
the world/' that she had filled Peter with. To Mrs. 
Arkell she urged another phase of the reasoning, 
and one, in truth, which had no slight weight with 
herself — Peter's interests. " I ought not to be a 
burden upon Peter, aunt, and I will not. You 
know how his heart is set upon going to the uni- 
Tersity ; but he cannot get there if he does not save 


for it ? If I remain at home, the house must be 
kept up the same as now ; the housekeeping ex- 
penses must go on ; and it will take every shiUing 
of Peter's earnings to do all this. Aunt, I could 
not live upon him, for very shame. While my 
mother was here it was a different thing." 

" But — to go to Peter's own affairs for a moment," 
cried Mrs. Arkell, irascibly — "what great dif- 
ference will your going away make to his expenses ? 
Twenty pounds a year at most. Where's the use 
of your putting a false colouring on things to me?" 

" I have not done so, aunt. Peter and I have 
talked these matters over since I resolved to go 
out, and I believe he intends to let his house." 

" To let his house !" 

" It is large for him now ; large and lonely. He 
means to let it, if he can, furnished ; just as it is." 

" And take up his abode in the street ?" 

" He will easily find apartments for himself," 
said Mildred, feeling for and excusing Mrs. Arkell's 
unusual irritabihty. "And, aunt, don't you see 
what a great advantage this would be to him in his 
plans ? Saving a great part of what he earns, re- 
ceiving money for his house besides, he will soon 
get together enough to take him to college." 

" I don't see anything, except that this notion of 
going away, wdiich you have taken up, is a very 
wrong one. It cannot be permitted, Mildred." 


*' Oh ! aunt, don't say so/' she entreated. 
" Peter must put by." 

*'Let him put by; it is what he ought to do. 
And you, Mildred, must come to uc. Be a 
daughter to me and to your uncle in our old age. 
Since William left it, the house is not the same, 
and we are lonely. We once thought — you will 
not mind my saying it now — that you would 
indeed have been a daughter to us, and in that 
case William's home and yours would have been 
here. He should never have left us." 

" Aunt " 

" Be still, and hear me, Mildred. I do not ask 
you this on the spur of the moment, because you 
are threatening to go out to service; and it is 
nothing less. Child ! did you think we were going 
to neglect you ? To leave you alone with Peter, 
uncared for ? Your uncle and I had already 
planned to bring you home to us, but we were 
willing to let you stay a short while with Peter, so as 
not to take everybody from him just at once. Why, 
Mildred, are you aware that youv ijiother knew you 
were to come to us ?" 

Mildred was not aware of it. She sat smoothing 
the black crape tucks of her dress with her fore- 
finger, making no reply. Her heart was full. 

''A few days after I made that foolish mistake — 
but indeed the fault was William's, and so I have 


always told him — I went and had it all out with 
Mrs. Dan. I told her how bitterly disappointed I 
and George both were ; but I said, in one sense it 
need make no difference to us, for you should be 
our daughter still, and come home to us as soon as 
ever — I mean, when the time came that you would 
no longer be wanted at home. And I can tell you, 
Mildred, that your mother was gratified at the plan, 
though you are not." 

Mildred's eyes were swimming. She felt that if 
she spoke, it would be to break into sobs. 

" Your poor mother said it took a weight from 
her mind. The house is Peter's, as you know, and 
he can't dispose of it, but the furniture was hers, 
left absolutely to her by your papa at his death. 
She had been undecided whether she ought not to 
leave the furniture to you, as Peter had the house ; 
and yet she did not like to take it from him. This 
plan of ours provided for you ; so her course was 
clear, not to divide the furniture from the house. 
As it turned out, she made no will, through delaying 
it from time to time ; and in law, I suppose, the 
furniture belongs as much to you as to Peter. You 
must come home to us, Mildred." 

" Oh, aunt, you and my uncle are botli very 
kind," she sobbed. " I should have liked much to 
come here and contribute to your comforts ; but, 
indeed " 


" Indeed — what ?" persisted Mrs. Arkell, pressing 
the point at which Mildred stopped. 

"I cannot — I cannot come," she murmured, in 
her distress. 

" But why ? — what is your reason ?" 

" Aunt ! aunt ! do not ask me. Indeed I can- 
not stop in Westerhury." 

They were interrupted by the entrance of 
William, and Mildred literally started from her 
seat, her poor heart beating wildly. She did not 
know of their return — had been in hopes, indeed, 
that she should have left the town before it ; but, 
as she now learnt, they came home the previous 

"I can make nothing of Mildred," cried Mrs. 
Arkell to her son ; and in her anger and vexation, 
she gave him an outline of the case. " It is the 
most senseless scheme I ever heard of." 

Mildred had touched the hand held out to her 
in greeting, and dried her tears as she best could, 
and altogether strove to be unconcerned and calm. 
He looked well — tall, noble, good, as usual, and 
very happy. 

"See if you can do anything to shake her reso- 
lution, Wilham. I have tried in vain." 

Mrs. Arkell quitted the room abruptly, as she 
spoke. Mildred passed her handkerchief over her 
pale face, and rose from her seat. 


Knowing what he did know, it was not a pleasant 
task for William Arkell. But for the extreme 
sensitiveness of his nature, he might have given 
some common-place refusal, and run away. As it 
was, he advanced to her with marked hesitation, 
and a flush of emotion rose to his face. 

" Is there anything I can urge, Mildred, that 
will induce you to abandon this plan of yours, and 
remain in Westerbury ?" 

" Nothing," she replied. 

" Why should you persist in leaving your native 
place ? — why have you formed this strange dislike 
to remain in it?" he proceeded. 

She would have answered him ; she tried to 
answer him — any idle excuse that rose to her lips ; 
but as he stood there, asking why she had taken a 
dislike to remain in the home of her childhood — 
he, the husband of another — the full sense of her 
bitter sorrow and desolation came rushing on, and 
overwhelmed her forced self-control. She hid her 
face in her hands, and sobbed in anguish. 

William Arkell, almost as much agitated as her- 
self, drew close to her. He took her hand — he 
bent down to her with a whisper of strange tender- 
ness. " If I have had a share in causing you any 
grief, or — or — disappointment, let me implore your 
forgiveness, Mildred. It was not intentionally 
done. You cannot think so." 


She motioned him away, her sobs seeming as if 
they would choke her. 

" Mildred, I must speak ; it has been in my 
heart to do it since — you know when," he whispered 
hoarsely, in his emotion, and he gathered both her 
hands in his, and kept them there. " I have begun 
to think lately, since my marriage, that it might 
have been well for both of us had we understood each 
other better. You talk of going into the world, a 
solitary wanderer ; and my path, I fear, will not be 
one of roses, although it was of my own choosing. 
But what is done cannot be recalled." 

"I must go home," she faintly interrupted; 
" you are trying me too greatly." But he went on 
as though he heard her not. 

" Can we not both make the best of what is left 
to us ? Stay in Westerbury, Mildred ! Come 
home here to my father and mother; they are 
lonely now. Be to them a daughter, and to me as 
a dear sister." 

" I shall never more have my home in Wester- 
bury," she answered; ''never more — nevermore. 
We can bid each other adieu now." 

A moment's miserable pause. " Is there no ap- 
peal from this, Mildred ?" 

'' None." 

" Will you always remember, then, that you are 
very dear to me ? Should you ever want a friend. 


Mildred — ever want any assistance in any way — do 
not forofet where I am to be found. I am a married 
man now, and yet I tell you openly that Wester- 
"bury will have lost one of its greatest charms for 
me, when you have left it." 

*' Let me go !" was all she murmured ; " I can- 
not bear the pain." 

He clasped her for a moment to his heart, and 
kissed her fervently. " Forgive me, Mildred — we 
are cousins still," he said, as he released her ; " for- 
give me for all. May God bless and be with you, 
now and always !" 

With her crape veil drawn before her face, with 
the cruel pain of desolation mocking at her heart, 
Mildred went forth ; and in the court-yard she 
encountered Mrs. William Arkell, in a whole 
array of bridal feathers and furbelows, arriving 
to pay her first morning visit to her husband's 
former home. She held out her hand to Mildred, 
and threw back her white veil from her radiant 

A confused greeting — she knew not of what — a 
murmured plea of being in haste — a light word of 
careless gossip, and Mildred passed on. 

So there was to be no hindrance, and poor 
Mildred was to leave her home, and go forth to 
find one with strangers ! But from that day she 
seemed to change — to grow cold and passionless ; 

VOL. 1. 12 


and people reproached her for it, and wondered 
what had come to her. 

How many of these isolated women do we meet 
in the world, to whom the same reproach seems 
due ! I never see one of them but I mentally 
wonder whether her once warm, kindly feelings 
may not have been crushed ; trampled on ; just as 
was the case with those of Mildred Arkell. 



MR. CARR's offer. 

Rare nuts for Westerbury to crack ! So delightful 
a dish of gossip had not been served up to it since 
that affair of Robert Carr's. Miss Arkell was going 
out as lady's-maid ! 

Such was the report that spread, to the intense 
indignation of Mrs. Arkell. In vain that lady 
protested that her obstinate and reprehensibly- 
independent niece was going out as companion, not 
as lady's-maid ; Westerbury nodded its head and 
knew better. It must be confessed that Mildred 
herself favoured tlie popular view : she was to be 
lady's-maid, she honestly said, as well as companion. 

The news, indeed, caused real commotion in the 
town ; and Mildred was remonstrated with from all 
quarters. What could she mean by leaving inca- 
pable Peter to himself? — and if people said true, 
Mr. and Mrs. Arkell would have been glad to adopt 
her. Mildred parried the comments, and shut 
herself up as far as she could. 

But she could not shut herself up from all ; she 



had to take the annoyances as they came. A very 
especial one arrived for her only the morning 
previous to her departure. It was not intended as 
an annoyance, though, hut as an honour. 

There came to visit her Mr. John Carr, the son 
and heir of the squire. He came in state — a 
phaeton and pair, and his groom heside him. John 
Carr was a little man, with mean-looking features 
and thin lips ; and there was the very slightest 
suspicion of a cross in his light eyes. Mildred was 
vexed at his visit ; not because she was busy pack- 
ing, but for a reason that she knew of. Some 
twelve months before, John Carr had privately 
made her an offer of his hand. She had refused it 
at once and positively, and she had never since 
liked to meet him. She could not escape now, for 
the servant said she was at home. 

He had been shown upstairs to the drawing- 
room, an apartment they rarely used ; and he stood 
there in top-boots and a rose in his black frock coat. 
Mildred saw at once what was coming — a second 
offer. She refused him before he had well made it 

" But you must have me. Miss Arkell, you 
must," he reiterated. "You know how much I 
have wished for you ; and — is it true that you 
think of going out to service in London ?" 

" Quite true," said IMildred. " 1 am going as 
companion and maid to Lady Dewsbury. " 


"Jjut surely that is not desirable. li" tliere is 
no other resource left, you must come to me. I 
know you forbid me ever to renew the subject 
again ; but " 

'^ I beg your pardon, Mr. Carr. Your premises 
are wrong. I am not going out because I have no 
other resource. I have my home here, if I chose 
to stay in it. I have one pressed urgently upon 
me with my aunt and uncle. It is not that. I am 
going because I wish to go. I wish for a change. 
It is very kind of you to renew your offer to me ; but 
you must pardon my saying that I should have found 
it kinder had you abided by my previous answer." 

" What is the reason you will not have me. Miss 
Arkell ? I know what it is, though : it is because 
I have had two wives already. But if I have, I 
made them both happy while they lived. They " 

" Oh, pray, Mr. Carr, don't talk so," she inter- 
rupted. " Pray take my answer, and let the 
subject be at an end." 

But Mr. Carr was one who never liked any 
subject to be at an end, so long as he chose to 
pursue it ; and he was fond of diving into reasons 
for himself. 

" I shall be Squire Carr after the old man's 
gone ; the owner of the property. I can make a 
settlement on you. Miss Arkell." 

"I don't want it, thank you," she said in her 


vexation. All Mildred's life, even when she was a 
little girl, she had particularly disliked Mr. John 

"It's the children, I suppose," grumbled Mr. 
Carr. "But they need not annoy you. Valentine 
must stop at home ; for it has not been the custom 
in our house to send the eldest son out. But Ben 
will go; I shall soon send him now. In fact, I 
did place him out ; but he wouldn't stop, and came 
back again. Emma, I dare say, will be marrying ; 
and then there's only the young children. You will 
be mistress of the house, and rule it as my late wife 
did. It is not an offer to be despised. Miss Arkell." 

" I don't despise it," returned Mildred, wishing he 
would be said, and take himself away. "But I 
cannot accept it." 

" Well, what is it, then ? Do you intend never 
to marry '?" 

The question called up bitter remembrances, and 
a burning red suffused her cheeks. 

" I shall never marry, Mr. Carr. At least, such 
is my belief now. Certainly I shall not marry 
until I have tried whether I cannot be happy in 
my life of dependence at Lady Dewsbury's." 

Mr. John Carr's lucky star appeared not to be 
in the ascendant that day, and he went out consider- 
ably crest-fallen. Whipping his horses, he proceeded 
up the town to pay a visit to his uncle, Mr. Marma- 


duke Can*. None, save himself, knew how covetous 
were the eyes he cast to the good fortune his uncle 
had to bequeath to somebody ; or that he would 
cast so long as the bequeathal remained in abeyance. 
Lady Dewsbury lived in the heart of the fashion- 
able part of London. Mildred went up alone. ^Irs. 
Arkell had made a hundred words over it ; but 
Mildred stood out for her independence : if she 
were not fit to take care of herself on a journey to 
London by day, she urged, how should she be fit 
to enter on the life she had carved out for herself ? 
She found no trouble. Mr. Arkell had given 
instructions to the guard, and he called a coach for 
her at the journey's end. One of Mildred's great 
surprises on entering Lady Dewsbury 's house was, 
to find that lady young. As the widow^ of the 
colonel's eldest brother — and the colonel himself 
was past middle age — ^^lildred had pictured in her 
mind a woman of at least fifty. Lady Dewsbury, 
however, did not look more than thirty, and ^lil- 
dred was puzzled, for she knew there was a grown- 
up son. Sir Edward. Lady Dewsbury was a plain 
woman, with a sickly look, and teeth that projected 
very much ; but the expression of her face was 
homely and kindly, and Mildred liked her at the 
first glance. She was leaning back in an invalid 
chair ; a peculiar sort of chair, the like of which 
Mildred had never seen, and a maid stood before 


her holding a cup of tea. Mildred found afterwards 
that Lady Dewsbury suffered from an internal 
complaint ; nothing dangerous in itself, but tedious, 
and often painful. It caused her to live completely 
the life of an invalid ; going out very little, and 
receiving few visitors. The medical men said if 
she could live over the next ten years or so, she 
might recover, and be afterwards a strong woman. 

Nothing could be more kind and cordial than her 
reception of Mildred. She received her more as an 
equal than an attendant. It relieved Mildred ex- 
cessively. Reared in her simple country home, a 
Lady Dewsbury, or Lady anybody else, was a 
formidable personage to Mildred ; one of the high- 
born and unapproachable of the land. It must be 
confessed that Mildred was at first as timid as 
ever poor humble Betsey Travice could have been ; 
and nearly broke down as she ventured on a word 
of hope that " My lady," " her ladyship," would 
find her equal to her duties. 

" Stay, my dear," said Lady Dewsbury^ detecting 
the embarrassment and smiling at it — "let us 
begin as we are to go on. I am neither my lady 
nor your ladyship to you, remember. When you 
have occasion to address me by name, I am Lady 
Dewsbury ; but that need not be often. Mrs. 
Dewsbury said you were coming to be my maid, I 
think ?" 


" Yes," replied Mildred. 

" 1 told her to say it, because I shall require 
many little services performed for me on my worst 
days that properly belong to a maid to perform ; 
and I did not like to deceive you in any way. But 
can you understand me when I say that I do not 
wish you to do these things for me as a servant, 
but as a friend ?" 

" I shall be so happy to do them," murmured 

" I do not wish to keep two persons near me, a 
companion and a maid. I have tried it, and 
it does not answer. Until my sister married, she 
lived with me, my companion ; and I had my maid. 
After my sister left, I engaged a lady to replace her, 
but she and the maid did not get on together ; the 
one grew jealous of the other, and things became 
so unpleasant, that I gave both of them notice to 
leave. It then occurred to me that I might unite 
the two in one, if by good luck I could find a well- 
educated and yet domesticated lady, who would 
not be above waiting on an invalid. And I hap- 
pened to mention this to Mrs. Dewsbury." 

*' I hope you will like me ; I hope I shall suit," 
was Mildred's only answering comment. 

" T like you already," returned Lady Dewsbury. 
*' I am apt to take fancies to faces, and the 
contrary, and I have taken a fancy to yours. But 


I will go on with my explanation. You will not be 
regarded in the light of a servant, or ever treated as 
one. You will generally sit with me, and take your 
meals wdth me when I am alone. If I have visitors, 
you will take them in the little sitting-room 
appropriated for yourself. The servants will wait 
upon you, and observe to you proper respect. I 
have not told them you are coming here as 
my maid, but as my friend and companion." 

Mildred felt overpowered at the kindness. 

" In reality you will, as I have said, in many 
respects be my maid ; that is, you will have to do 
for me a maid's duties," proceeded Lady Dewsbury. 
" You will dress me and undress me. You will 
sleep in the next room to mine, wdth the door open 
between, so as to hear me when I call ; for I am 
sorry to say, my sufferings occasionally require 
sudden attendance in the night. As my com- 
panion, you Avill read to me, write letters for me, 
go with me in the carriage when I travel, help me 
w^ith my worsted w^ork, of which I am very fond, 
do my personal errands for me out of doors, give 
orders to the servants when I am not well enough, 
keep the house-keeping accounts, and always be 
— patient, willing, and good-tempered." 

Lady Dewsbury said the last words with a 

Mildred gave one of her sweet smiles in answer. 


" I really mean it though, Miss Arkell," continued 
Lady Dewsbury. " Patience is absolutely essential 
for one who has to be with a sufferer like myself; 
and I could not bear one about me for a day who 
showed unwillingness or ill-temper. The trouble 
that I am obliged to give, is sufficiently present 
always to my own mind ; but I could not bear to 
have tlie expression of it thrown back to me. The 
last and worst thing I must now mention ; and 
that is, the confinement. When I am pretty well, 
as I am now, it is not so much ; but it sometimes 
happens that I am very ill for weeks together ; 
never out of my room, scarcely out of my bed : 
and not once perhaps during all that time will you 
be able to go out of doors." 

" I shall not mind it indeed, Lady Dewsbury," 
Mildred said, heartily. " I am used to confinement. 
I told Mrs. Dewsbury so. Oh, if I can but suit 
you, I shall not mind what I do. I think it seems 
a very, very nice place. I did not expect to meet 
with one half so good." 

"How old do you think I am ?" suddenly asked 
Lady Dewsbury. " Perhaps Mrs. Dewsbury men- 
tioned it to you ?" 

"It is puzzling me," said Mildred, candidly, 
quite overlooking the last question. " I could not 
take you to be more than thirty ; but I — I had 
fancied — I beg your pardon, Lady Dewsbury — that 


you must be quite fifty. I thought Sir Edward 
was some years past twenty." 

" Sir Edward ? — what has that to do with — oh, I 
see ! You are taking Sir Edward to be my son. 
Why, he is nearly as old as I am, and I am thirty- 
five. I was Sir John Dewsbury's second wife. I 
never had any children. Sir Edward comes here 
sometimes. We are vei*y good friends." 

Mildred's puzzle was explained, and Lady 
Dewsbury sent her away, happy, to see her room. 
It had been a gracious reception, a cordial welcome ; 
and it seemed to whisper an earnest of future 
comfort, of length of service. 

Lady Dewsbury was tolerably well at that period, 
and Mildred found that she might take advantage 
of it to pay an afternoon visit to Betsey Travice. 
She sent word that she was coming, and Betsey 
was in readiness to receive her; and Mrs. Dundy ke, 
a stout lady in faded black silk, had a sumptuous 
meal ready : muffins, bread and butter, shrimps, 
and water-cress. 

The parlour, on a level with the kitchen, was 
a very shabby one, and the bells of the house kept 
clanging incessantly, and Mrs. Dundyke went in 
and out to urge the servant to alacrity in answering 
them, and two troublesome fractious children, of 
eighteen months, and three years old, insisted on 
monopolizing the cares of Betsey ; and altogether 


Mildred ivondered that Betsey could or would stop 

" But I like it," whispered Betsey, " I do indeed. 
Mrs. Dundyke is not handsome, but she's very 
kind-hearted, and the children are fond of me ; 
and I feel at home here, and there's a great deal in 
that. And besides " 

"Besides — what ? " asked Mildred, for the words 
had come to a sudden stand-still. 

"There's David," came forth the faint and 
shame-faced answer. 


" Mrs. Dundyke's son. We are to be married 

Mildred had the honour of an introduction to 
the gentleman before she left — for Mr. David came 
in — a young man above the middle height, some- 
what free and confident in his address and manners. 
He was not bad-looking, and he w^as attired 
sufficiently well ; for the house he was in, in 
Fenchurch-street, was one of the fii'st houses of its 
class, and would not have tolerated shabbiness in 
any of its clerks. The shirt-sleeve episodes, the 
blacking-boot and carrying-up coal attire, so vivid 
in the remembrance of Chadotte Travice, were 
kept for home, for late at night and early morning. 
Of this, Mildred saw nothing, heard nothing. 

" He has eighty pounds a year now, ' whispered 


Betsey to Mildred ; " his next rise will he a 
hundred and fifty. And then, when it has got to 

that ," the blush on the cheeks, the downcast 

eyes, told the rest. 

"Them there shrimps ain't had ; take some more 
of 'em." 

Mildred positively started — not at the invitation 
so abruptly given to her, but at the wording of it 
It was the first sentence she had heard him speak. 
Had he framed it in joke ? 

No ; it was Ins habitual manner of speaking. 
She cast her compassionate eyes on Betsey Travice, 
just as Charlotte would have cast her indignant 
ones. But Betsey was used to him, and did not 
feel the degradation. 

" Now, mother, don't you worry your inside out 
after that girl," he said, as Mrs. Dundyke, for the 
fiftieth time, plunged into the kitchen, groaning 
over the shortcomings of the servant. *' You won't 
live no longer for it. Betsey, just put them two 
squalling chickens down, and pour me out a drop 
more tea; make yourself useful if you can till 
mother comes back. Won't you take no more, 
Miss Arkell ?" 

*^ Betsey," asked Mildred, in a low tone, as 
they were alone for a few minutes when ^lildred 
was about to leave, " do you like Mr. David 
Dundyke?" - 


Betsey's face was sufficient answer. 

" I think you ought not to be too precijiitate to 
say you will do this or do the other. You are 
young, Mr. Dundyke is young, and — and — if you 
had had more experience in the world, you might 
not have engaged yourself to him." 

" Thank you kindly ; that is just as Charlotte 
says. But we are not going to marry yet."^ 

" Betsey — you will excuse me for saying it : if I 
speak, it is for your own sake — do you consider 
Mr. Dundyke, with his — his apparently imperfect 
education, is suitable for you ? " 

"Indeed," answered Betsey, "his education is 
better than it appears. He has fallen into this odd 
way of speaking from habit, from association with 
his mother. She speaks so, you must perceive. 
He rather prides himself upon keeping it up, upon 
not being what he calls fine. And he is so clever 
in his business ! " 

Mildred could not at all understand that sort of 
"pnde." Betsey Travice noticed the gravity of 
her eye. 

"What education have J had. Miss Arkell? None. 
I learnt to read, and write, and spell, and I learnt 
nothing more. If I speak as a lady, it is because 
I was bom to it, because papa and mamma aud 
Charlotte so spoke, not from any advantages they 
gave me. I have been kept down all my life. 


Charlotte was made a lady of, and I was made to 
work. When I was only six years old I had to 
wait on mamma and Charlotte. I am not com- 
plaining of this ; I like work ; but I mention it, to 
ask you in Avhat way, remembering these things, I 
am better than David Dundyke ? " 

In truth, Mildred could not say. 

" What am I now but a burden on his mother ? " 
continued Betsey. " In one sense I repay my 
cost; for, if I were not here, she would have to 
take a servant for the two little children. I have 
no prospects at all ; I have nobody in the world to 
help me ; indeed. Miss Arkell, it is generous of 
David to ask me to be his wife." 

" You might find a home with your sister, now 
she has one. You ought to have it with her." 

Betsey shook her head. " You don't know 
Charlotte," was all she answered. 

Mildred dropped the subject. She took a ring 
from her purse, an emerald set round with pearls, 
and put it into Betseys hand. 

" It was my mother's," she said, " and I brought 
it for you. She had two of these rings just alike ; 
one of them had belonged to a sister of hers who 
died. I wear the other — see ! My mother was 
verv poor, Betsey, or she miglit have left some- 
thing worth the acceptance of you, her god- 


Betsey Travice burst into tears, partly at the 
kind words, partly at the munificence of the gift, 
for she had never possessed so much as a brass 
ring in all her life. 

"It is too good forme," she said; ''I ought not 
to take it from you. I would not, but for your 
having one hke it. What have I done that you 
should all be so kind to me ? But I will never part 
with the ring." 

And, indeed, the contrast between the kindness 
to her of the Arkells generally and the unfeeling 
behaviour of her sister Charlotte, could but mark 
its indelible trace on even the humble mind of 
Betsey Travice. 

" Has Charlotte come home ? " she asked. 

" Have you heard from her ? " exclaimed Mil- 
dred in astonishment. " She came home before I 
left Westerbury." 

Betsey shook her head. " We are not to keep 
up any correspondence; Charlotte said it would 
not do ; that our paths in life lay apart ; hers up 
in the world, mine down ; and she did not care to 
own me for a sister. Of course I know I am inferior 
to Charlotte, and always have been ; but still " 

Betsey broke down. The grieved heart was 

VOL. L 13 




The next twelvemonth brought little of event, if 
we except the birth of a boy to William Arkell and 
his wife. In the month of March, nearly a year 
after their marriage, the child was born ; and its 
mother was so ill, so very near, as was believed, 
unto death, that Mrs. Arkell sent a despatch to 
bring down her sister, Betsey Travice. Had Char- 
lotte been able to have a voice in the affair, rely 
upon it Betsey had never come. 

But Charlotte was not, and Betsey arrived ; the 
same meek Betsey as of yore. William liked the 
young girl excessively, and welcomed her with a 
warm heart and open arms. His wife was better 
then, could be spoken to, and did not feel in 
the least obliged to them for having summoned 

" I am glad to see you, Betsey," William whis- 
pered, '^ and so would Charlotte be, poor girl, if 
she were a little less ill. You shall stand to the 


baby, Betsey ; he is but a sickly little fellow, it 
seems, and they are talking of christening him at 
once. If it were a girl, we would name it after 
you ; we'll call it — can't we call it Travice '? That 
will be after you, all the same, and it's a very pretty 

Betsey shook her head dubiously. She had an 
innate fondness for children, and she kissed the 
little red face nestled in her arms. 

" Charlotte would not likeine to stand to it," 

" Not like it !" echoed William, who did not 
know his wife yet, and had no suspicion of the 
state of things. ''Of course she would like it. 
Who lias so great a right to stand to the child as 
you, her sister. Would you like it yourself?" 

*' Oh, very much ; I should think it was my own 
little boy all through life." 

"Until you have little boys of your own," 
laughed William, and Betsey felt her face glow. 
" All right, his name shall be Travice." 

And so it was ; the child was christened Travice 
George ; and Betsey had become his godmother be- 
fore Charlotte knew the treason that was agate. 
She was bitterly unkind over it afterwards to 
Betsey, reproaching her with ''thrusting herself 
forward unwarrantably." 

A very, very short stay with them, only until 



Charlotte was fjuite out of danger, and Betsey went 
back to London. " Do not, if you can belp it, 
ever ask me down again, dear Mrs. Arkell," she 
said, with tears. " You must see how^ it is — how 
unwelcome I am ; Charlotte, of course, is a lady, 
always was one, and I am but a poor working girl. 
It is natural she should wish us not to keep up too 
much intimacy." 

" I call it very unnatural," indignantly remon- 
strated Mrs. Arkell. 

Perhaps Betsey Travice yearned to this little 
baby all the more, from the fact that the youngest of 
the two children she had taken care of at Mrs. 
Dundyke s, had died a few months before. Frac- 
tious, sickly, troublesome as it had been, Betsey's 
fondness for it was great, and her sorrow heavy. 
There had been nobody to mourn it but herself; 
Mrs. Dundyke was too much absorbed in her 
household cares to spare time for grief, and 
everybody else, saving Betsey, thought the house 
was better without the crying baby than with it. 
These children were almost orphans ; the mother, 
David's only sister, died when the last was born ; 
the father, a merchant captain, given to spend his 
money instead of bringing it home, was always 
away at sea. 

Death was to be more busy yet with the house 
of Mrs. Dundvke. A fcAv mouths after Betsey's 


return from tlie short visit to Westerbury, when 
the liot weather set in for the summer, the other 
baby died. Close upon that, Mrs. Dundyke died — 
died in a fit. 

The attack v;as so sudden, the shock so m'e-dt, 
that for a short time those left — David and Betsey 
— were stunned. David had to go to Fenchurch- 
street all the same ; and Betsey quietly took Mrs. 
Dundyke's place in the house, and saw that things 
went on right. Duty was ever first with Betsey 
Travice ; what her hand found to do, that she did 
witli all her might ; and the whole care devolved 
on her now. A clergyman and his wife were 
occupying the drawing-rooms, and they took 
great interest in the poor girl, and were very 
kind to her ; but they never supposed but 
that she was some near relative of the Dun- 
dykes. David, who did not want for plain sense 
— no, nor for self-respect either — saw, of course, 
that the present state of things could not 

" Look here, Betsey," he said to her, one evening 
that they sat together in silence ; he busy with his 
account books, and Betsey absorbed in trying to 
make out and remember the various items charged 
in the last week's butcher's bill ; " we must make a 
change, I suppose." 

She looked up, marking the place she had come 


to with her penciL *' What did you please to say, 
David ? — make a change ?" 

" Well, yes, I suppose so, or we shall have the 
world ahout our ears. I mean to get rid of the 
house as soon as I can ; either get somehody to 
come in and buy the good-will and the furniture ; 
or else, if nobody wont do that, give up the house, 
and sell off the old things by auction, just keeping 
enough to furnish a room or two." 

" It would be better to sell the good-will and 
the furniture, would it not ?" 

" Don't I say so ? But I'm not sure of doing 
it, for houses is going down in Stamford-street : 
people that pay well for apartments, like to be 
fashionable, and get up to the new buildings west- 
ward. Any way, I'm afraid there wont be no 
more realized than will serve to pay what mother 

David stopped here and looked down on his ac- 
counts again. Betsey, who sat at the opposite side 
of the table, with the strong light of the summer 
evening lighting up its old red cloth, returned to 
hers. Before she had accomplished another item, 
David resumed — 

" And all this will take time ; three or four 
months, perhaps. And so, Betsey — if you don't 
mind being hurried into it — I think we had better 
be married." 


"Be inaiTiecl !" echoed Betsey, dropping her 
book and her pencil. " Whatever do you mean ?" 

" I mean what I say," was David's sententious 
answer ; " T don't mean nothing else. You and 
me must be married." 

Betsey stared at him aghast. " Oh, David ! how 
can you think of such a thing yet ? It is not a 
month since your poor mother died." 

"That's just it, her being dead," said David. 
" Don't you see, Betsey, neither you nor me can go 
out of the house until somebody takes to it, or till 
something's settled ; and, in short, folks might get 
saying things." 

Not for a full minute did she in the least com- 
prehend his meaning. Then she burst into a pas- 
sion of tears of anger ; all her face aflame. 

" Oh ! David, how can you speak so ? who would 
dare to be so cruel ?" 

" It's because I know the world better than you, 
and because I know how cruel it is, that I say it," 
added David. " Look here, Betsey, there's nobody 
left now to take care of you but me ; and I shall 
take care of you, and I'm saying what's right. I 
shall buy a licence ; it's a dreadful deal of money, 
when asking in church does as well, but that takes 
longer, and I'll spend the money cheerfully, for 
your sake. We'll go quietly to church next Sun- 
day morning, and nobody need know, till it's all 


over, what we've been for. Unless you like to tell 
the servant, and the parson and liis wife in the 
drawing-room. Perhaps you'd better." 

"But, David " 

" Now, where's the good of contending ?" he in- 
terrupted ; "you don't want to give me up, do 
you ?■' 

" You know I don't, David." 

"Very well, then." 

Betsey held out for some time longer, and it 
was only because she saw no other opening out of 
the dilemma — for, as David said, neither of them 
could leave the house if it was to go on — that she 
gave in at last. David at once entered upon sun- 
dry admonitions as to future economy, warning 
her that he intended they should live upon next to 
nothing for years and years to come. He did not 
intend to spend all his income, and be reduced to 
letting lodgings, or what not, when he shouldget old. 

And a day or two after the marriage had really 
taken place, Betsey wrote a very deprecatory note to 
Charlotte, and another to Mrs. Arkell, with the 
news. But she did not give them an intimation of 
it beforehand. So that even had Charlotte wished 
to make any attempt to prevent it, she had not the 
opportunity. And from thenceforth she washed 
her hands of Betsey Dundyke, even more com- 
pletely than she had done of Betsey Travice. 


This first portion of my story is, I fear, rather 
inclined to he fragmentary, for I have to speak of 
the history of several ; hut it is necessary to do so, 
if yoLi are to be quite at home with all our friends 
in it, as I always like you to be. The next thing 
we have to notice, was an astounding event in the 
life of Peter Arkell. 

Peter Arkell was not a man of the world; he 
was a great deal too simple-minded to be anything 
of the sort. In worldly cunning, Peter was not a 
whit above Moses Primrose at the fair. Peter was 
getting on famously ; he had let his house fur- 
nished, and the family who took it accommodated 
Peter with a room in it, and let him take his 
breakfast and dinner with them, for a very mode- 
rate sum. He worked at the bank, as usual, and 
he attended at Colonel Dewsbury's of an evening ; 
that gentleman's eldest son had gone to college, 
but he had others coming on. Peter Arkell had 
also found time to write a small book, not in 
Greek, but touching Greek; it was excessively 
learned, and found so much favour with the classical 
world, that Peter Arkell grew to be stared at in his 
native city, as that very rare menagerie animal, a 
successful author ; besides which, Peter's London 
publishers had positively transmitted him a sum of 
thirty pounds. I can tell you that the sum of 
thirty hundred does not appear so much to some 


people as that appeared to Peter. Had he gained 
thousands and thousands in his after life, they 
would have been to him as nothing, compared to 
the enraptured satisfaction brought to his heart by 
that early sum, the first fruits of his labours. Ask 
any author that ever put pen to paper, if the first 
guinea he ever earned was not more to him than 
all the golden profusion of the later harvest. 

And so Peter, in his own estimation at any rate, 
was going on for a prosperous man. He put by 
all he could; and at the end of three years and 
a-half from Mildred's departure — for time is con- 
stantly on the wing, remember — Peter had saved a 
very nice sum, nearly enough to take him to 
Oxford, when he should find time to get there. 
For that, the getting there, was more of a stumbling 
block now than the means, since Peter did not yet 
see his way clear to resign his situation in the bank. 

Meanwhile he waited, hoped, and worked. And 
during this season of patience, he had an honour 
conferred upon him by young Pauntleroy the 
lawyer : a gentleman considerably older than Peter, 
but called young Fauntleroy, in distinction to his 
father, old Fauntleroy the lawyer. Young Faunt- 
leroy, who was as much given to spending as 
Peter was to saving, and had a hundred debts, 
unknown to the world, got simple Peter to be 
security for him in some dilemma. Peter hesitated 


at first. Four lumclrecl pounds was a large sum, 
and would swamp him utterly should he ever be 
called upon to pay it j but upon young Fauntleroy's 
assuring him, on his honour, that the bank could 
not be more safe to pay its quarterly dividends than 
he was to provide for that obligation when the time 
came, Peter gave in. He signed his name, and 
from that hour thought no more of the matter. 
When a person promised Peter to do a thing he 
had the implicit faith of a child. And now comes 
the event that so astounded Westerbury. 

You remember Lucy Oheveley, the young lady 
whose lovely face had so won on Mildred's admira- 
tion ? How it came about no human being could 
ever tell, least of all themselves ; but she and Peter 
Arkell fell in love with each other. It was not one 
of those ephemeral fancies that may be thrown off 
just as easily as they are assumed, but a passionate, 
povv^erful, lasting love, one that makes the bliss or the 
bane of a whole future existence. The chief of the 
blame was voted by the meddling town to Colonel 
and Mrs. Dewsbury. Why had they allowed Miss 
Cheveley to mix in familiar intercourse with the 
tutor ? To tell the truth. Miss Cheveley had not 
been much better there than a governess. Her 
means were very small. She had only the pension 
of a deceased officers daughter, and Mrs. Dewsbury, 
what with clothes and maintenance, was consider- 


ably oat of pocket by ber ; tberefore sbe repaid 
herself by makiug Miss Cbeveley useful with the 
children. Tbe governess was a daily one, and 
Lucy Cheveley helped the children at night to 
prepare their lessons for her. The study for both 
boys and girls was the same, and thus Lucy was in 
constant daily intercourse with Mr. Peter Arkell. 
Since the publication of Peter's learned book, and 
his consequent rise in public estimation. Colonel 
Dewsbury had once or twice invited him to dinner ; 
and Miss Cheveley met him on an equality. 

But the marvel was, how ever that lovely girl 
could have lost her heart to Peter Arkell — plain, 
shy, awkward Peter ! But that such things have 
been known before, it might have been looked upon 
as an impossibility. 

There was a fearful rumpus. The discovery 
came through Mrs. Dewsbury 's bursting one night 
into the study in search of a book, when the 
children had left it, and she supposed it empty. 
Mr. Peter Arkell stood there with his arm round 
Lucy's waist, and both her hands gathered and held 
in his. For the first minute or so, ^Irs. Dewsbury 
did not believe her own eyes. Lucy stood in 
painful distress, the damask colour glowing on her 
transparent cheek, and the explanation, as of right 
it would, fell to Peter. 
These shy, timid, awkward-mannered men in every- 


day life, are sometimes the most collected in situa- 
tions of actual embarrassment. It was so with 
Peter Arkell. In a calm, quiet way he turned 
to Mrs. Dewsbury, and told her the straight- 
forward truth : that he and Miss Cheveley were 
attached to each other, and he had asked her to be 
his wife. 

Mrs. Dewsbury was an excitable woman. She 
went back to the dining-room, shrieking like one 
in hysterics, and told the news. It aroused Colonel 
Dewsbury from his wine ; and it was not a light 
thing in a general way that could do that, for the 
colonel was fond of it. 

Then ensued the scene. Colonel and Mrs. Dews- 
bury heaped vituperation on the head of the tutor, 
asking what he could expect to come to for thus 
abusing confidence ? Poor Peter^ far more com- 
posed in that moment than he was in every-day 
matters, said honestly that he had not intended to 
abuse it ; nothing would ever have been fiirther 
from his t]]oughts ; but the mutual love had come 
to them both unawares, and been betrayed to each 
other without thought of the consequences. 

All the abuse ever spoken would not avail to 
undo the past. Of course nothing was left now 
but to dismiss Mr. Peter Arkell summarily from 
his tutorship, and order Miss Cheveley never to 
hold intercourse by word or look with him again. 


This might have mended matters in a degree had 
Miss Cheveley acquiesced, and carried the mandate 
out; but, encouraged no doubt secretly by Mr. 
Peter, she timidly declined to do so — said, in fact, 
she would not. Colonel and Mrs. Dewsbury were 
rampant as two chained lions, who long to get 
loose and tear somebody to pieces. 

For Mr. Peter Arkell was not to be got at. 
The law did not sanction his imprisonment ; and 
society would not countenance the colonel in beat- 
ing or killing him. Neither could Mrs. Dews- 
bury lock up Miss Lucy Cheveley, as was the 
mode observed to refractory damsels in what is 
called the good old time. 

The next scene in the play was their marriage. 
Lucy, finding that she could never hope to obtain 
the consent of her protectors to it, walked quietly 
to church from their house one fine morning, met 
Peter there, and was married without consent. 
Peter had made his arrangements for the event in 
a more sensible manner than one so incapable 
would have been supposed likely to do. The 
friends who had occupied his house vacated it 
previously to oblige him ; he had it papered and 
painted, and put into thoroughly nice order, spend- 
ing about a hundred pounds in new furniture, and 
took Lucy home to it. Never did a more charm- 
ing wife enter on possession of a home ; and 


Westerbury, which of course made everybody's affairs 
its own, in the usual manner, was taken with a 
sudden tit of envy at the good fortune of Peter 
Arkell, when it had recovered its astonishment at 
Miss Cheveley's folly. One of her order marry 
poor Peter Arkell, the banker's clerk ! The world 
must be coming to an end. 

Colonel and Mrs. Dewsbury almost wished it 
was coming to an end, for the bride and bride- 
groom at any rate, in their furious anger. The 
colonel went to the bank, and coolly requested it to 
discharge Peter Arkell from its service. The bank 
politely declined, saying that Mr. Peter Arkell had 
done nothing to offend it, or of which it could 
take cognizance. Colonel Dewsbury threatened 
to withdraw his account, and carry it off forthwith 
to a sort of patent company bank, recently opened 
in the town. The bank listened with equanimity ; 
it would be sorry of course, and hoped the colonel 
would think better of it ; but, if he insisted, his 
balance (he never kept more than a couple of 
hundred pounds there) should then be handed to 
him. The colonel growled, and went out with a 
bang. He next wrote to Lady Dewsbury a per- 
emptory letter, almost requiring her to discharge 
Miss Arkell from her service. Lady Dews- 
bury wrote word back that Mildred had be- 
come too valuable to her to be parted with ; 


and that if Peter iVrkell ^vas like liis sister in 
goodness, Lucy Cheveley had not chosen amiss. 

Lucy had been married about a fortnight, and 
was sitting one evening in all her fragile loveli- 
ness, the red light of the setting sun flickering 
through the elm trees on her damask cheeks, when 
a tall elegant woman entered. This was Mrs. St, 
John, whose family had been intimate with the 
Cheveleys. The St. Johns inhabited that old 
building in AVesterbury called the Palmery, of 
which mention has been made, but they had beeD 
away from it for the -past two years. Mrs. St. 
John had just returned to hear the scandal caused 
by the recent disobedient marnage. 

Though all the world abandoned Lucy, Mrs. St 
John would not. She had not so many year* 
been a wife herself, having married the widower^ 
Mr. St. John, who was more than double her age^ 
and had a grown-up son. Lucy started up, with 
many blushes, at Mrs. St. John's entrance ; and 
she told the story of herself and Peter very simply, 
when questioned. 

" Well, Lucy, I wish you happy," Mrs. St. John 
said ; " but it is not the marriage you should have 

" Perhaps not. I suppose not. For Mr. Arkell's 
family is of course inferior to mine — " 

*' Inferior ! Mr. Arkell's family ! " interrupted 


Mrs. St. John, all her aristocratic prejudices 
offended at the ^Yords. " What do you mean, 
Lucy ? Mr. Arkell is of no family ! They are 
tradespeople — manufacturers. We don't speak of 
that class as ' a family.' You are of our order ; 
and I can tell you, the Cheveleys have had the hest 
blood in their veins. It is a very sad descent for 
you ; little less — my dear, I cannot help speaking 
— than degradation for life." 

" If I had good family," spoke Lucy, " what 
else had I ? " 

" Beauty ! " was Mrs. St. John's involuntary 
answer, as she gazed at the wondrously lustrous 
brown eyes, the bright exquisite features. 

" Beauty ! " echoed Lucy, in surprise. " Oh, 
Mrs. St. John ! you forget. ' 

"Forget what, Lucy." 

" That I am deformed." 

The word was spoken in a painful whisper, and 
the sensitive complexion grew carmine with the 
sense of shame. It is ever so. Where any defect 
of person exists, none can feel it as does its pos- 
sessor ; it is to the mind one ever-present agony of 
humiliation. Lucy Cheveley's spine was not 
straight; of fragile make and constitution, she had 
*' grown aside," as the familiar saying runs; 
but at this early period of her life it was not 
so apparent to a beholder (unless the defect 

VOL. T. 14 


was knovvn and searched for) as it afterwards 

"You are not very much so, Lucy," was Mrs. 
St. John's answer. " And your face compensates 
for it." 

Lucy shook her head. *' You say so from 
kindness, I am sure. Do you know," she resumed, 
her voice again becoming almost inaudible, " I 
once heard Mrs. Dewsbury joking with Sir Edward 
about me. He was down for a week about a year 
ago, and she was telling him he ought to get 
married and settle down to a steady life. He 
answered that he could get nobody to have him, 
and Mrs. Dewsbury — of course you know it was 
only a jesting conversation on both sides — said, 
' There's Lucy Cheveley, would she do for you ?' 
* She/ he exclaimed ; ' she's deformed I' ^Mrs. St. 
John, will you believe that for a long while after I 
felt sick at having to go out, or to cross a room ?" 

*'Yes, I can believe it," said ^Irs. St. John, 
sadly, for she was not unacquainted with this 
sensitive phase in human misfortune. " Well, 
Lucy, you cannot be convinced, I dare say, that 
your figure is not unsightly, so we will let that 
pass. But I do not understand yet, how you came 
to marry Peter Arkell." 

Lucy laughed and blushed. 

" Ah ! I see ; you loved him. And yet, few, 


save you, ^yould find Peter Arkell so lovable a 

*^ If you only knew his worth, Mrs. St. John!" 

" I dare say. But as a knight-errant he is not 
attractive. Of course, the chief consideration now,, 
is — the thing being irrevocably done, and you 
here — what sort of a home will he be able to keep 
for you." 

" I have no fear on that score ; and I am one to 
be satisfied with so little. Colonel Dewsbury dis- 
charged him, but he soon found an evening en- 
gagement that is as good. He intends to go to 
Oxford when he can accomplish it, and afterwards 
take orders. When he is a clergyman, perhaps my 
friends, including you, Mrs. St. John, will admit 
that his wife can then claim to be in the position 
of a gentlewoman." 

" But, meanwhile you must live." 

Lucy smiled. " If you knew how entirely I 
trust and may trust to Peter, you would have no 
fear. We shall spend but little ; we have begun on 
the most economical plan, and shall continue it. 
We keep but one servant " 

"But one servant!" echoed Mrs. St. John. 
" For you !" 

" I did not bring Peter a shilling. I brought 
him but myself and the few poor clothes I possess, 
for my bit of a pension ceased at my marriage. 



You cannot think that I would run him into any 
expense not absolutely necessary. We have no 
need of more than one servant, for we shall certainly 
be free from visitors." 

" How do you know that ?" 

" Peter has lived too retired a life to entertain 
any. *' And there's no fear that my friends will 
visit me. I have put myself beyond their pale." 

" I cannot say that you have not. But how you 
will feel this, Lucy !" 

"I shall not feel it. Mrs. St. John, when I 
chose my position in life as Peter Arkell's wife, I 
chose it for all time," she emphatically added. 
" Neither now, nor at any future period, shall I 
regret it. Believe me, I shall be far happier here, 
in retirement wdtli him, althougli I have the con- 
sciousness of knowing that the ^vorld calls me an 
idiot, than I could have been had I married in what 
you may call my own sphere. For me there are 
not two Peter Arkells in the world." 

And Mrs. St. John rose, and took her leave; 
deeply impressed with the fact, that though there 
might not be two Peter Arkells in the world, there 
was a great deal of infatuation. She could not 
understand how it was possible for one, born as 
Lucy Oheveley had been, to make such a marriage, 
and to live under it without repentance. 




The years rolled on, bringing their changes. 
Indeed, the first portions of this history are more 
like a panorama, where you see a scene here, and 
then go on to another scene there ; for we cannot 
afford to relate these earlier events consecutively. 

That good and respected man, Mr. George 
Arkell, had passed away with the course of time to 
the place which is waiting to receive us all. His 
wife followed him within the year. A handsome 
fortune, independently of the flourishing business 
at the manufactory, was left to our old friend 
William ; and there was a small legacy to Mildred 
of a hundred pounds. 

William Arkell had taken possession of all : of liis 
father's place, his father's position, and his father's 
house. No son ever walked more entirely in his 
father's steps than did he. He was honoured 
throughout Westerbury, just as Mr. Arkell had 
been. His benevolence, his probity, his high 


character, were universally known and appreciated. 
And Mrs. William Arkell, now of course, Mrs. 
Arkell, was a very fine lady, but liked on the whole. 

They had three children, Travice, Charlotte, 
and Sophia Mary. Travice hore a remarkable re- 
semblance to his father, both in looks and disposi- 
tion ; the two girls were more like their mother. 
They were young yet ; but no expense, even now, 
was spared upon them. Indeed, expense, had Mrs. 
Arkell had her way, would not have been spared in 
anything. Show and cost were not to William's 
taste ; they were to hers : but he restrained it with 
a firm hand where it was absolutely essential. 

Peter had not got to college yet, and Peter had 
not on the whole prospered. The great blow to 
him was the having to pay the four hundred pounds 
for which he had become security for Mr. Faunt- 
leroy the younger. Mr. Fauntleroy the younger's 
affairs had come to a crisis; he went away for a 
time from AVesterbury, and Peter was called upon 
to pay. There's no doubt that it was the one great 
blight upon Peter Arkell's life* He never recovered 
it. It is true that the money was afterwards 
refunded to him by degrees ; but it seemed to do 
him no q-ood ; the bliqht had fallen. 

He became ill. Whether it was the blow of this, 
that suddenly shattered his health, or whether ill- 
ness was inherent in his constitution, Westerbury 


never fully tlecided ; certain it was, that Peter 
Arkell became a confirmed invalid, and had to 
resign his appointment at the bank. But he had 
excellent teaching, and was paid well ; and he 
brought out a learned book now and then, so that 
he earned a good living. He had two children, 
Lucy, and a boy some years younger. 

Never since she quitted the place some ten or 
twelve years before, had Mildred Arkell paid a visit 
to Westerbury. She was going to do so now. Lady 
Dewsbury, whose health was better than usual, had 
gone to stay with her married sister, and Mildred 
thought she would take the opportunity of going to 
see her brother Peter, and to make acquaintance with 
his wife. It is probable that, without that tie, she 
would never have re-entered her native place. The 
pain of going now would be great ; the pain of 
meeting William Arkell and his wife little less 
than it was when she first left it. But she made 
her mind up, and wrote to Peter to say she was 

It was on a windy day that Mildred Arkell — had 
anybody known her — might have been seen picking 
her way-through the mud of the streets of London. 
She went to a private house in the neighbourhood 
of Hatton Garden, rang one of its bells, and 
walked upstairs without waiting for it to be an- 
swered. Before she reached the third floor, a 


young woman, with a coarse apron on, and a 
quantity of soft flaxen hair twisted round her head, 
which looked like a lady's head in spite of the 
accompaniment of the apron, came running down 

''Oh, Miss Arkell I if you had hut sent me word 
you were coming!" 

The tone was a joyous one, mixed somewhat 
with vexation ; and Mildred smiled. 

*' Why should I send you word, Betsey ? If you 
are busy, you need not mind me." 

On the third floor of this house, in two rooms, 
Mr. and Mrs. David Dundyke had lived ever since 
their marriage. David himself had chosen it from 
the one motive that regulated most actions of his 
life — economy. The two lower floors of the 
house were occupied by the offices of a sohcitor; 
the underground kitchen and attic by a woman 
who kept the house clean ; and David had taken 
these two rooms, and got them very cheap, on con- 
dition that he should always sleep at home as a 
protection to the house. Not having any induce- 
ment to sleep out, David acceded readily ; and 
here they had been for several years. It was, in 
one sense, a convenient arrangement for Betsey, 
for they kept no servant, and the woman occasion- 
ally did cleaning and other rough work for her, 
receiving a small payment weekly. 


Will you believe me when I say that David 
Dundyke was ambitions? Never a more firmly 
ambitious man lived than he. There have been 
men with higher aims in life, but not with more 
pushing, persevei'ing purpose. He wanted to 
become a rich man ; he wanted to become one of 
importance in this great commercial city ; but the 
highest ambition of all, the one that filled his 
thoughts, sleeping and waking, was a higher am- 
bition still — and I hope you will hold your breath 
with proper deference while you read it — he aspired 
to become, in time, the Lord Mayor ! 

He was going on for it. He truly and honestly 
believed that he was going on for it ; slowly, it is 
true, but not less sure. Rome, as we all know 
was not built in a day ; and even such men as the 
Duke of Wellington must have had a beginning — 
a first start in life. 

Whatever David Dundyke's short-comings might 
be, in — if you will excuse the word — gentility, he 
made up for it by a talent for business. Few men 
have possessed a better one; and his value in 
the Fenchurch-street tea-house, was fully known 
and appreciated. This wholesale establishment, 
which had tea for its basis, was of undoubted 
respectability. It took a high standing amidst its 
fellows, and was second in its large dealings to none. 
It was not one of your advertising, poetry-puffing. 


here-to-day and gone-to-morrow houses, but a 
genuine, sound firm, having real dealings with 
Chaney, as the respected white-haired head of the 
house was in the habit of designating the Celestial 
Empire. Mr. Dundyke sometimes presumed to 
correct the " Chaney," and hint to his indulgent 
master and head, that that pronunciation was a 
little antediluvian, and that nobody now called it 
anything but " Chinar." 

David Dundyke had gone into this house an 
errand boy ; he had risen to be a junior clerk. He 
was now not a junior one, but took rank with the 
first. Steady, taciturn, persevering, and indus- 
trious to an extent not often seen, thoroughly 
trustworthy, and in business dealings of strict 
honour, perhaps David Dundyke was one who 
could not fail to prosper, wherever he might have 
been placed. These qualities, combined with rare 
business foresight, had brought him into notice, 
and thence into favour. The faintest possible hint 
had been dropped to him by the white-haired old 
man, that perseverance, such as his, had been 
known to meet its reward in an association with 
the firm; a share in the business. Whether he 
meant anything, or whether it was but a casual 
remark, spoken without intention, David did not 
know ; but he saw from thenceforth that one great 
ambition, of his, coniing nearer and nearer. From 


that moment it was sure ; it fevered his veins, and 
coloured his dreams ; the massive gold chain of 
the Lord flavor was ever dancing before his eyes 
and his brain ; to be called " my lord " by the 
multitude, and to sit in that arm-chair, dispensing 
justice in the Mansion House, seemed to him a 
very heaven upon earth. Every movement of his 
mind had reference to it ; every nerve was strained 
on the hope for it I For that he saved ; for that he 
pinched ; for that he turned sixpences into shill- 
ings, and shillings into pounds : for he knew that 
to be elected a Lord Mayor he must first of all be 
a rich man, and attain to the honour through 
minor gradations of wealth. He was judged to be 
a hard griping man by the few acquaintances he 
possessed, possessing neither sympathy for friends, 
nor pity for enemies ; but he was not hard or 
griping at heart; it was all done to further this 
dream of ambition. For money in the abstract he 
really did not very much care ; but as a stepping- 
stone to civic importance, it was of incalculable 

He had four hundred pounds a year now, and 
they lived upon fifty. Betsey, the most generous 
heart in the world, saw but with his eyes, and was 
as saving and careful as might be, because it 
pleased him. Many and many a time he had taken 
home a red herring and made his dinner of it. 


giving his wife the head and the tail to pick for 
hers. Not less meek than of yore was Mrs. Dun- 
dyke, and felt duly thankful for the head and the 

Mrs. Dundyke had been at some household work 
when Mildred entered, but she soon put it aside 
and sat down with Mildred in the sitting-room, a 
cheerful apartment with a large windows Betsey 
was considerably over thirty years of age now, but 
she looked nearly as young as ever, as she sat 
bending her face a little down over her sewing 
while she talked, the stitching of a Avristband ; for 
she was one who thought it a sin to lose time. 
Mildred told her the news she had come to tell — 
that she was going on the morrow to Westerbury. 

" Going to Westerbury !" echoed Mrs. Dundyke 
in great surprise; for it had seemed to her that 
Miss Arkell never meant to go to her native place 

Mildred explained. She had a holiday for the 
first time since going to Lady Dewsbury's, and 
should use it to see her brother and his wife. " I 
came to tell you, Betsey," she added, " thinking 
vou mio'ht have some messas^e vou would like me 
to carry to your sister." 

A faint change, like ashadow, passed over Betsey 
Dundyke's face. '' She would not thank you for 
it, Miss Arkell. But you may give my best love to 


her. She never came to see me, you know, when 
they were in London." 

"When were they in London ?" asked Mildred, 

. " Last year. Did you not know of it ? Perhaps 
not, for you wore in Paris with Lady Dewsbury at 
the time, and the reminiscence to me is not so 
pleasing as to make me mention it gratuitously. 
She came up with Mr. Arkell and their boy ; thev 
were in London about a week : he had business, I 
believe. The first thing he did was to come and 
see us, and he brought Travice ; and he said he 
hoped I and my husband would make it convenient 
to be with them a good deal while they were in 
town, and would dine with them often at their 
hotel. Well, David, as you know, has no time to 
spare in the day, for business is first and foremost 
with him, but I went the next day to see Charlotte. 
She was very cool, and she let me unmistakably 
know in so many words that she could not make 
an associate of Mr. Dundyke. It was not nice of 
her, Miss Arkell." 
" No, it was not. Did you see much of her ?" 
" I only saw her that once. William Arkell 
was terribly vexed, I could see that ; and as if to 
atone for her behaviour, he came here often and 
brought Travice. Indeed, Travice spent nearly the 
whole of the time with us, and David would have 


let me keep him after tbey went home, but I knew 
it was of no use to ask Charlotte. He is the nicest 
boy ! I — I know it is wrong to break the tenth 
commandment," she said, looking up and laughing 
through her tears, ^' but I envy Charlotte that boy." 

It was an indirect allusion to the one great 
disappointment of Betsey Dundyke's life : she had 
no children. She was getting over the grief 
tolerably now; we get reconciled to the worst 
evil in time ; but in the first years of her marriage 
she had felt it keenly. It may be questioned if Mr. 
Dundyke did. Children must have brought ex- 
pense with them, so he philosophically pitted the 
gain against the loss. 

" Why should Mrs. Arkell dislike to be on 
sisterly terms with you ?" asked Mildred. *' I have 
never been able to understand it." 

'•' Charlotte has two faults — pride and selfishness," 
was Mrs. Dundyke's answer : *' though I cannot 
bear to speak against her, and never do to David. 
When she first married, she feared, I believe, that 
I might become a burden upon her ; and she did 
not like that I should be in the position I was at 
Mrs. Dundyke's ; she thought it reflected in a degree 
upon her position as a lady. Noio she shuns us, 
because she thinks we are altogether beneath her. 
Were we living in style, well established and all 
that, she would be glad to come to us ; but we are 



in these two quiet rooms, living Immbly, and 
Charlotte would cut off her legs before she'd come 
near us. Don't think me unkind, ]\Iiss Arkell ; it 
is Charlotte who has forced this feeling upon me. 
I worshipped her in the old days, but I cannot be 
blind to her faults now." 

David Dundyke came in. He shook hands 
cordially with Mildred, whom he was always glad 
to see. He had begun to dress like a city magnate 
now : in glossy clothes, and a white neckcloth ; 
and a fine gold cable chain crossed on his waistcoat, 
in place of the modest silver one he used to wear. 
He had become more personable as he gained years, 
was growing portly, and altogether was a fine, 
gentlemanly-looking man. But his mode of speech ! 
That had very little changed from the earlier style : 
perhaps David Dundyke was one who did not 
care to change it ; or had no ear to catch the 
accents of others. If he had but never opened 
his mouth ! 

"I'm a little late, Betsey. Shouldn't ha been, 
though, if I'd known who was here. Get us 
some tea, girl; and here's something to eat with 

He pulled a paper parcel of shrimps out of his 
pocket as he spoke : a delicacy he was fond of. 
Some of them fell on the carpet in the process, 
and Betsey stooped to pick them up. David 


did not trouble himself to lielp her. He sat down 
and talked to Mildred. 

" The last time you were here, I remember, 
something kept me out : extra work at the office, 
I think that was. I have been round now to 
Leifchild's. He is my stock-broker." 

Mildred laughed. She supposed he was saying 
it for jest. But the keen look came over Mr. 
Dundyke's face that was usual to it when he spoke 
of money. 

" Leifchild is a steady-going man ; he"s no fool, 
he isn't. There's not a steadier nor a keener 
on the stock exchange. I've knowed him since 
he was that high, for we was boys together ; and, 
like me, he began from nothing. There was one 
thing kept him down — want of capital ; if he had 
had that, he'd lia' been a rich man now, for many 
good things fell in his way, and he had to let 'em 
slip by him. I turned the risk over in my mind, 
Miss Arkell ; for, and against ; and I came to 
the conclusion to put a thousand pound in his 
hands, on condition " 

" A thousand pounds," involuntarily interrupted 
Mildred. " Had you so much — to spare ? " 

*'Yes, I had that," said David Dundyke, with 
a little cough that seemed to say he might have 
found more, if he had cared to do so. " On 
condition that I went shares in whatsoever profit 


Liy thousand pound should be the means of 
realizing," he resumed where he had broken off. 
" And my thousand pound has not done badly 

Mildred could not help noting the significant 
satisfaction of the tone. " I should have fancied you 
too cautious to risk your money in speculating, 
Mr. Dundyke."' 

" And you fancied right. "Tain't speculating : 
leastways not now. There might be some risk 
at first, but I knew Leifchild. In three months 
after that there thousand pound was in his hand, 
he had made two of it for me, and I took the one 
back from him, leaving him the other to go on with 
again. That hasn't done badly neither. Miss 
Arkell ; it's paying itself over and over again. And 
I'm safe; for if he lost it all, I'm only where 
I was afore I began, and my first risked thousand 
is safe." 

"And if failure should come, is there no risk to 
you ? " 

*'Not a penny risk. Trust me for that. But 
failure won't come. My head's a pretty long one 
for seeing my way clear, and Leifchild lays every 
thing before me afore he ventures. It's better, this 
is, than your five per cent, investments." 

" I think it must be," assented Mildred. '' I 
wish I could employ a trifle in the same manner." 

VOL. I. 15 


She spoke without any ulterior motive, but David 
Dundyke took the words literally. He had no 
objection to do a good turn where it involved 
no outlay to himself, and he really liked Mildred. 
He drew his chair an inch nearer, and talked 
to her long and earnestly. 

" Let's say its a hundred pound," he said. 
"Risk it. And when Leifchild has doubled that 
for you, take the first hundred back. If you 
lose the rest, it won't hurt ; and if it multiplies it& 
ones into tens, you'll be so much the better off." 

It cannot be denied that Mildred was struck with 
the proposition. " But does Mr. Leifchild do all 
this for nothing ? " she asked. 

"In course he don't. Leifchild ain't a fool. 
He gets his percentage — and a good fat percentage- 
too. The thing can afford it. Do as you 
like, you know, Miss Arkell ; but if you take my 
advice, you mayn't find cause to be sorry for it iu 
the end." 

"Thank you," said Mildred, "I will think 
of it." 

" Give Aunt Betsey's dear love to Travice," 
whispered Mrs. Dundyke, when Mildred was leav • 
ing, " and my best and truest regards to Mr. 
Arkell. And oh. Miss Mildred_, if you could pre- 
vail upon them to let Travice come back with you 
to visit me, I should not know how to be happy 


enough ! I have always so loved children ; and 
David would like it, too. " 

" Is there any chance, think you ?" returned 

" No, no, there is none ; his mother would he in- 
dignant at the presumption of the request," con- 
cluded Betsey in her hitter conviction. 

And she was not mistaken. 





Mildred's heart ached ^Yith the changes ; Peter 
was growing into a middle-aged man, his hair be- 
ginning to silver, his tall hack bowed with care. 

They were gathered in the old familiar sitting- 
room the night of her arrival at Westerbury. 
Peter and Mildred sat at the table, Mrs. Peter 
Arkell lay on her sofa ; the children remained or- 
derly on the hearth rug. Lucy was getting a great 
girl now; little Harry — a most lovely child, his 
face the counterpart of his mother s — was but three 
years old. 

Never but once in her life had Mildred seen the 
exquisite face of Miss Lucy Cheveley ; it had never 
left her memory. The same, same face was before 
her now, looking upwards from the sofa, not a whit 
altered — not a shade less beautiful. But Mildred 
had now become aware of a fact which she had not 
known previously — Peter had kept it from her in 
his letters — tfiat the defect in Mrs. Peter Arkell's 


back had become more formidable, giving her pain 
nearly always. They had had a hard, reclining 
sofa made, a little raised at the one end ; and here 
she had to lie a great deal, some days only getting 
up from it to meals. 

*' I am half afraid to encounter your wife," 
Mildred had said, as she walked home witli Peter 
from the station — for there was a railway from 
London now, and the old coaching days had van- 
ished for ever. " She is one of the Dewsbury family 
— of Mrs. Dewsbury's, at any rate — and I am but a 
dependent in it." 

'^ Oh, Mildred ! you little know my dear wife ; 
but she is one in a thousand. She is very poorly 
this evening, and is so vexed at it ; she says you 
will not think she welcomes vou as she ousrht." 

" What is it that is really the matter with her ? 
Is it the spine? You did not tell me all this in 
your letters." 

'' It is the spine. She was never strong, you 
may be aware ; and I believe there occurred some 
slight injury to it when the boy was born. The 
doctors think she will get stronger again ; but I 
don't know." 

" Is she in pain ? Does she walk out ?" 

" She is not in pain when she lies, but it comes 
on if she exerts herself. Sometimes she walks out, 
bat not often. She is so patient — so anxious to 


make the best of things; lying there, as she is 
often obliged to do, for hours, and going ^'ithout 
any little thing she may want, because she will not 
disturb the servant from her work to get it. I 
don't think anyone was ever blessed with so patient 
and sweet a temper." 

And when^Mildred entered and saw the bright 
expectancy of the well- remembered face, the eager 
hands held out to welcome her, she knew that they 
were true sisters from that hour. The invalid drew 
down her face to her own flushed one. 

''I am so grieved," she whispered, the tears 
rising in her earnest eyes : *' this is one of my 
worst days, and I am unable to rise to welcome 

" Do not think of it," answered Mildred ; " I am 
glad to be here to wait upon you. I am used to 
nursing ; I think it is my specialiU,'' she added, 
with one of her old sunny smiles. " I will try and 
nurse you into health before I go back again." 

" You shall make the tea, and do all those 
things, now you are here, Mildred," interposed 
Peter. '' I am as awkward as an owl when I have 
to attempt anything, and Lucy lies and laughs 
at me." 

" Which is to be my room ?" asked Mildred. " I 
will go and take my things off, and come down to 
hear alltlie news of the old place." 


" The blue room," said Mrs. Peter. " You will 
find little Lucy " 

'^ Your own old room, Mildred," interposed 
Peter. '* Lucy, my dear, when Mildred left home 
the room was not blue, but a sort of dirty yellow." 

Mildred went and came down again, bringing the 
children with her, little orderly things ; steady Lucy 
quite like a mother to her baby brother. Mildred 
made acquaintance with them, and she and Peter 
gossiped away to their hearts" content ; the one 
telling the news of the " old place," and its changes, 
the other listening. 

"We think Lucy so much like you," Peter 
observed in the course of the evening, alluding to 
his little daughter. 

" Like me !" repeated Mildred. 

" It strikes us all. William never sees her but 
lie thinks of you. He says we ought to have 
named her ' Mildred.' " 

"His daughters are not named Mildred, eitnor 
of them, ' she answered, hastily — an old sore sensa- 
tion, that she had been striving so long to bury, 
becoming very rife within her. 

" His wife chose their names — not he. She has 
a will of her own, and likes to exercise it." 

" How do you get on with William's wife ? ' 

*'Not very well. She and Lucy did not take to 
^ach other at first, and I suppose never will. She 


is quite a fine lady now ; and, indeed, always was, 
to my thinking ; and William's wealth enables them 
to live in a style very different from what we can 
do. So Mrs. Arkell looks down upon us. We are 
invited to a grand, formal dinner there once a year, 
and that is about all our intercourse." 

"A grand, formal dinner!" echoed ^lildred. 
" For you ! ' 

Peter nodded. '' She makes it so on purpose, 
no doubt; a hint that we are not to be every-day 
visitors. She invites little Lucy there sometimes 
to play with Charlotte and Sophy ; but T am sure 
the two girls despise the child just as their mother 
despises us." 

"And does William despise you?" inquired 
Mildred, a touch of resentment in her usually 
gentle tone. 

" How can you ask it, Mildred ? ' returned Peter, 
warml). "I thought you knew William Arkell 
better than that. He grows so like his father — 
good, kindly, honourable. There's not a man in 
all Westerbury liked and respected as he is. He 
comes in sometimes in an evening; glad, I 
fancy, of a little peace and quietness. Between 
ourselves^ Mildred, I fancy that in marrying 
Charlotte Travice, William found he had caught a 

"And so they are grand!" observed Mildred, 


waking out of a fit of musing, and perhaps hardly 
conscious of what she said. 

" Terribly grand. She is. They keep their close 
carriage now. It strikes me — I may be wrong — 
but it strikes me that he lives up to every farthing 
of his income." 

" My Uncle George did not." 

" No, indeed ! Or there'd not have been the 
fortune that there was to leave to William." 

"Eut, Peter, I gather a good deal now and then 
from the local papers of the distress that exists in 
Westerbury, of the depressed state that the trade 
is falling into ; more depressed even than it was 
when I left, and that need not be. Does not this 
state of things affect Wilham Arkell ?" 

" It must affect him ; though not, I conclude, to 
any great extent. You see, Mildred, he has what 
so many of the other manufacturers want — plenty 
of money, independent of his business. WiUiam 
has not to force his goods into the market at 
unfavourable moments ; be his stock ever so large, 
he can hold it until tlie demand quickens. It is 
the being obliged to send their goods into the 
market at low prices, that swamps the others." 

" Will the prosperity of the town ever come back 
to it, think you ?" 

" Never. And I am not sure that the worst has 
come yet." 


Mildred sighed. She called Lucy to her and 
held her hefore her, pushing the hair from her 
hrow as she looked attentively into her face. It 
was not a beautiful or a handsome face ; but it was 
fair and gentle, the features pale, the eyes dark 
brown, with a sweet, sad, earnest expression : just 
such a face as Mildred's. 

" Do you like your cousins, Charlotte and 
Sophia, Lucy ?" asked Mildred. 

" I like Tra\'ice best," was the little lady's 
unblushing answer. " Charlotte and Sophy tease 
me; they are not kind ; but Travice wont let them 
tease me when he is there. He is a big boy, but 
he plays with me ; and he says he loves me better 
than he does them." 

'' I really believe he does," said Peter, amused at 
the answer. "Travice is just like his father, as 
this child is like you — the same open, generous, 
noble boy that William himself was. When I see 
Travice playing with Lucy, I could ftmcy it was 
you and William over again — as I used to see you 
play in the old days." 

'* Heaven grant that the ending of it may not be 
as mine was !" was the inward prayer that went up 
from Mildred's heart. 

" Travice is in the college school, I suppose, 

" Oh, yes. With a private evening tutor at home. 


The girls have a resident governess. William spares 
no money on their education."' 

" Would it not be a nice thing for Lucy if she 
could go daily and share their lessons ?" 

*^ Hush, Mildred ! Treason!" exclaimed Peter, 
while Mrs. Peter ilrkell hurst into a laugh, her 
husband's manner was so quaint. " I have reason 
to know that William was hardy enough to say 
something of the same sort to his wife, and he got 
his ansiver. I and my wife, between us, teach 
Lucy. It is better so ; for the child could not be 
spared from her mother. You don"t know the use 
she is of, already." 

" I am of use to mamma too, I am !" broke in a 
bold baby voice at Mildred's side. 

She caught the little fellow on her knee : he 
thought no doubt he had been too long neglected. 
Mildred began stroking the auburn curls from his 
face, as she had stroked Lucy's. 

" And I am like mamma," added the young gen- 
tleman. " Everybody says so. Mamma says so." 

Indeed " everybody" might well say it. As the 
mother's was, so was the child's, the loveliest possible 
type of face. The same, the exquisite features, the 
refined, delicate look, the lustrous brown eyes and 
hair, the rose-flush on the cheeks. " No, I never 
did see two faces so much alike, allowing for the 
difference in age," cried Mildred, looking from the 


mother on the sofa to the child on her knee. " Tell 
me again what your name is." 

*' It's Harry Cheveley Arkell." 

" Do you know,' exclaimed Mildred, looking up 
at Mrs. Peter, "it strikes me this child speaks re- 
markably plain for his age." 

" He does," was the answer. " Lucy did not 
speak so well when she was double his age. He is 
unusually forward and sensible in all respects. I 
fear it sometimes," she added in a lower tone. 

" By why do you fear it ?" quickly asked Mildred. 

" Oh — you know the old saying, or superstition," 
concluded Mrs. Arkell, unable further to allude to 
it, for the boy's earnest eyes were bent upon her with 
profound interest. 

"Those whom the gods love, die young," muttered 
Peter. "But the saying is all nonsense, Mildred." 

Peter had been getting his books, and was preparing 
to become lost in their pages, fragrant as ever to 
him. Mildred happened to look to him and scarcely 
saved herself from a scream. He had put on a pair 
of spectacles. 

"Peter! surely you have not taken to spectacles I" 

" Yes, I have." 

" But why ?" 

Peter stared at her. " Why does anybody take 
to them, Mildred ? From failing sight." 

" Oh, dear I " sighed IMildred. " AYe seem to have 


gone away altogether from youth — to be gliding into 
old age without any interregnum." 

" But we are not middle-aged yet, ^Eildred," said 
Mrs. Peter. 

A sudden opening of the door — a well-known 
form, tall, upright, noble, but from which a portion 
of the youthful elasticity was gone — and Mildred 
found herself face to face with her cousin William. 
How loved still, the wild beating of her heart told 
her ! His simply friendly greeting, warm though it 
was, recalled her to her senses. 

" What a stranger you have been to us, Mildred !" 
he exclaimed. " Never to come near Westerbury 
all these years ! When my father was dying, he 
wished so much to see you." 

" I would have come then had I been able, but 
Lady Dewsbury was very ill, and I could not leave 
her. Indeed, I wish I could have seen both my 
aunt and uncle once more." 

" They felt it, 1 can tell you, Mildred." 

" Not more than I did ; not indeed so much. 
They could not : they had others with them nearer 
than I." 

" Perhaps none dearer," he quietly answered. 
" My father s death was almost sudden at the last. 
The shock to me was great: I did not think to lose 
him so early." 

"A little sooner or a little later!" murmured 


Mildred. " What does it matter, provided the de- 
parture he a hopeful one. As his must have heen." 

" As his ivas,'' said William. " Mildred, you are 
not greatly changed." 

'*Not changed!" 

" I said, not greatly changed. It is still the same 

*' Ah, you will see it hy daylight. My hair is 
turning grey." 

"Mildred, which day will you spend with us?" 
he asked, when leaving. " To-morrow ?" 

Mildred evaded a direct reply. Even yet, though 
years had passed, she was scarcely equal to seeing 
the old home and its installed mistress ; certainly 
not without great emotion. But she knew it must 
he overcome, and when Mr. Arkell pressed the 
question, she named, not the morrow, hut the day 

William Arkell went home, and had the nearest 
approach to a battle with his wife that he ever had 
had. Mrs. Arkell w^as alone in their handsome 
drawing-room ; she did not keep it laid up in lavender, 
as the old people had done. She was as pretty as 
ever ; and of genial manners, when not put out. But 
unfortunately she got put out at trifles, and the 
unpleasantness engendered by it was frequent. 

" Charlotte, I have seen Mildred," he began as 
he entered. " She will spend the day with us on 


Friday, but I suppose you will call upon her to 

" No, I shan't,' returned Mrs. Arkell. " She's 
nothing but a lady's-maid. ' 

William answered sharply. Something to the 
effect that Mildred was a lady born and bred, a lady 
formerly, a lady still, and that he respected her 
beyond anyone on earth : in his passion, he hai'dly 
knew what he said. Mrs. Arkell was even wdth him» 

" I know," she said — " I know you would have 
been silly enough to make her your wife, but for 
your better stars interposing and sending me to 
frustrate it. I don't suppose she has overcome the 
disappointment yet. Now% William, that's the truth, 
and you need not look as if you were going to beat 
me for saying it. And you need not think that I 
shall pay court to her, for I shall not. Whether as 
Mildred Arkell, your disappointed cousin, or as 
Mildred Arkell, Lady Dewsburys maid, I am not 
called upon to do it." 

William Arkell felt that he really could heather. 
He did not answer temperately. 

Mrs. Arkell could be aggravating wdien she 
chose; ay, and obstinate. She would not call on 
Mildred the following day, but three separate times 
did her handsome close carriage parade before the 
modest house of ^Ir. Peter Arkell, and never once, 
of all the three times, did she condescend to turn 


her eyes towards it, as she sat inside. Late that 
evening there arrived a formal note requesting the 
pleasure of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Arkells accompany- 
ing ]Miss Arkell to dinner on the following day. 

" She's going to do it grand, Peter," said Lucy 
to her husband with a laugh, in the privacy of their 
chamber at night. " She's killing two birds with 
one stone, impressing Mildred wdth her pomp, and 
showing her at the same time that she must not 
expect to be admitted to unceremonious intimacy." 

Only Mildred went. Lucy said she was not well 
enough, and Peter had lessons to give. The former 
unpretentious and, for Mr. Arkell, convenient dinner 
hour of one o'clock had been long changed for a late 
one. Mildred, fully determined oiot to make a 
ceremoDy of the visit, went in about four o'clock, 
and found nobody to receive her. Mrs. Arkell w^as 
in her room, the maid said. She had seen Miss 
Arkell's approach, and hastened away to dress, not 
having expected her so early. Would Miss Arkell 
hke to go to a dressing room and take her bonnet 
off? Miss Arkell replied that she W'Ould take it 
off there, and she handed it to the maid with her 

The di'awing-room had been newly furnished 
since old Mrs. Arkell's time, as Mildred saw at a 
glance. She was touching abstractedly some of its 
elegant trifles, musing on the changes that years 


bring, when the door flew open, and a tall, pre- 
possessing, handsome boy entered, whistling a song 
at the top of his voice, and trailing a fishing line 
behind him. There was no need to ask who he 
was ; the hkeness was too great to the beloved face 
of her girlhood : it was the same manner, the same 
whistle ; all as it used to be. 

*' You are Travice," she said, holding out her 
hand ; "I should have known you anywhere." 

" And you must be Mildred," returned the boy, 
impetuously taking the hand between both of his, 
and letting his cherished fishing line drop anywhere. 
" May I call you Aunt Mildred, as Lucy does ?" 

" Call me anything,' was Mildred's answer. " I 
am so glad to see you at last And to see you 
what you are ! How like you are to your father !" 

" All the world says that," said the boy with a 
laugh. "But how is it that nobody's with you? 
Where are they all ^ Where's mamma ?" 

Springing to the door he called out in the hall 
that there was nobody with Miss Arkell, that she 
was waiting in the drawing-room alone. His voice 
echoed to the very depths of the house, and two 
slender, pretty girls came running downstairs in 
answer to its sound. There was a slight look of 
William in both of them, but the resemblance to 
their mother was great, and Mildred's heart did not 
go out yearning to them as it had to Travice. She 

VOL. I. 16 


kissed them, and found them pleasant, lady-like 
girls ; but with a dash of coquetry in their manner 

" I hope I see you -well. Miss Arkell." 

Mildred was bending over the girls, and started 
at the well-remembered tones, so superlatively 
polite, but freezing and heartless. Charlotte was 
radiant in beauty and a blue silk dinner-dress, with 
flowing blue ribbons in her bright hair. Mildred 
felt plain beside her. Her rich black silk was 
made high, and its collar and cuffs were muslin, 
worked with black. Nothing else, save a gold 
chain; the pretty chain of her girlhood that 
William had given her ; nothing in her hair. She 
was in mourning for a relative of Lady Dewsbury. 

*' You have made acquaintance with the chil- 
dren, I see. Miss Arkell." 

" Yes ; I am so glad to do it. Peter has some- 
times mentioned them in his letters ; and I have 
heard much of Travice from Betsey — Mrs. Dun- 
dyke. Your sister charged me to give you her best 
love, Mrs. Arkell. I saw her on Friday." 

" She's very kind," coldly returned Mrs. Arkell ; 
*' but I don't quite understand how you can have 
heard much of my son from her ; that is, how she 
can have had much to say. Mrs. Dundyke had 
not seen him since he was an infant, until we were 
in town last year. ' 


*' I think Travice has been in the habit of 
writing to her." 

" In the habit of writing to Aunt Betsey, — of 
•course I have been!" interposed Travice. "And 
she writes to me, too. I like Aunt Betsey. And 
I can tell you what, mamma, for all you go on 
against him so, I like Mr. Dundyke." 

" Your likings are of very little consequence at 
present, Travice," was the languidly indifferent 
answer of his mother. " You will learn better as 
you grow older. My sister forfeited all claim on 
me when she married so low a man as Mr. Dun- 
dyke," continued Mrs. Arkell to Mildred ; " and 
she knows that such is my opinion. I shall never 
change it. She married him deliberately, with her 
eyes open to the consequences, and of course she 
must take them. I said and did what I could to 
warn her, but she would not listen. And now look 
at the way in which they are obliged to live !" 

" Mr. Dundyke earns an excellent income ; in 
fact, I believe he is making money fast," observed 
Mildred. " Their living in the humble way they 
do is from choice, I think, not from necessity." 

Mrs. Arkell shrugged her pretty shoulders with 

" We will pass to another topic. Miss Arkell, 
that one does not interest me. What are the new 
fashions for the season ? You must get them at 



first hand, from your capacity in Lady Dewsbury's 

Mildred would not resent the hint. 

"Indeed, Mrs. Arkell, if you only knew how 
httle the fashions interest either Lady Dewsbury or 
me, you would perhaps laugh at us both," she 
answered. *' Lady Dewsbury lives too much out of 
the world to need its fashions. Sheisa great invalid." 

Peter's wife was right in her conjecture, for 
Mrs. Arkell had hastily summoned a dinner party. 
Mr. Arkell took his revenge, and faced his wife in 
a morning coat. Ten inclusive ; and the governess 
and Travice were desired to sit down in the place 
of Mr. and Mrs. Peter. It may be concluded that 
Mildred was of the least consequence present, in 
social position ; nevertheless, Mr. Arkell took her 
in to dinner, and placed her at his right hand. 
All were strangers to her, excepting old Marma- 
duke Carr. Squire Carr was dead, and his son 
John was the squire now. 

It was not the quiet evening Mildred had thought 
to spend with them. She slipped from the drawing- 
room at ten, Mrs. Peter's health being the excuse 
for leaving early. Mr. Arkell had his hat on at 
the hall door waiting for her, just as it used to be 
in the days gone by. 

" But, William, I do not wish to take you out," 
she rem.onstrated. " You have your guests." 


" They are not my guests to-night," was his quiet 
answer, as he gave his arm to ^Mildred. 

Travice came running out. '' Oh, papa, let me 
go with you !" 

" Get your trencher, then." 

He stuck the college cap on his head and went 
leaping on, through the gates and up the street, 
just in the manner that college boys like to leap. 
Mr. Arkell and Mildred followed more soberly, 
speaking of indifferent things. Mildred began 
talking of Mr. Carr. 

" How well he wears I" she said. " Peter tells 
me he has retired from business." 

" These three or four years past. He did wisely. 
Those who keep on manufacturing, only do it at a 

" You keep it on, William." 

" I know. But serious thoughts occur to me 
now and then of the wisdom of retiring. There 
are reasons against it, though. Were I to give up 
business, we should have to live in a very different 
style from what we do now ; for my income would 
be but a small one, and that would not suit Mrs. 
Arkell. Besides, I really could not bear to turn 
my workmen adrift. There are too many unem- 
ployed already in the town; and I am always 
hoping, against my conviction, that times will 


" But if you only make to lose, how would the 
retiring from husiness lessen your income ?" 

William laughed. " Well, Mildred, of course I 
do get something still hy my husiness ; hut in 
speaking of the had times, we are all apt to make 
the worst of it. I dare say I make ahout half what we 
spend ; hut that you know, compared to the profits 
of old days, is as nothing." 

" If you do make that, William, why think at all 
of giving up ?" 

" Because the douht is upon me whether worse 
times may not come, and hring ruin with them to 
all who have kept on manufacturing. Were I as 
Marmaduke Carr is, a lonely man, I should give 
up to-morrow ; hut I have my wife and children to 
provide for, and I really do not know what to do 
for the hest." 

" What has hecome of Rohert Carr ? Has he ever 
heen home ?" 

" Never. He is in Holland still for all I know. 
I have not heard his name mentioned for years in 
the town. Old Marmaduke never speaks of him ; 
and others, I suppose, have forgotten him. You 
know that the old squire's dead ?" 

" Yes ; and that John has succeeded him. Did 
John's daughter — Emma, I mean — ever marry ?" 

" She married very well indeed ; a Mr. Lewis. 
Valentine, the son and heir, is at home with his 


father ; steady, selfish, mean as his father was he- 
fore him ; but I fancy John Carr has trouble with 
the second, Ben." 

" Ben promised to be a spendthrift, I remember," 
remarked Mildred. " What is Travice gazing at." 

Travice had come to a stand-still, and was stand- 
ing with his face turned upwards. Mr. Arkell 

''Do you remember my propensity for star- 
gazing, Mildred ? Travice has inherited it. But 
witli him it is more developed than it was with me. 
I should not be surprised at his turning out art 
astronomer one of these days." 

Did she remember it ! Poor Mildred fell into a 
reverie that lasted until William said good night 
to her at her brother's door. 

She was not sorry when her visit to Westerbury 
came to an end. The town seemed to look cold 
upon her. Of those she had left in it, some had 
died, some had married, some had quitted the place 
for ever. The old had vanished, the middle-aged 
were growing old, the children had become men 
and women. It did not seem the same native place 
to Mildred ; it never would seem so again. Some of 
the inhabitants of her own standing had dwindled 
down to obscurity ; others who had not been of her 
standing, had gone up and become very grand 
indeed. These turned up their noses at ^lildred. 


just as did Mrs. William Arkell ; aud thought it 
excessive presumption in a lady's maid to come 
amongst them as an equal. She had persisted in 
going out to service in defiance of all her friends, 
and the least she could do was to keep her distance 
from them. 

Mildred did not hear these gracious comments, 
and would not have cared very much if she had 
heard them. She returned to her post at Lady 
Dewsbury's, and a few more years passed on. 



THE dean's daughter. 

The tender green of early spring was on the new 
leaves of the cathedral elm trees. Not sufficient to 
afford a shade yet; but giving promise of its fulness 
ere the sultry days of summer should come. 

The deanery of Westerbury was a queer old 
building to look at, especially in front. It had no 
lower windows. There were odd-looking patches 
in the wall where the windows ought to have been, 
and three or four doors. These doors had their 
separate uses. One of them was the private 
entrance of the dean and his family ; one was used 
by the servants ; one was allotted to official or state 
occasions, at the great audit time, for instance, when 
the dean and chapter held their succession of 
dinners for ever so many days running; and one (a 
little one in a corner) was popularly supposed to be 
a sham. But the windows above were unusually 
large, and so they compensated in some degree for 
the lack of them below. 


Standing at tlie smallest of the windows on this 
spring day, w^as a young lady of some ten or twelve 
years old. She had a charming countenance, rather 
saucy, and great hlue eyes as large as saucers. 
She wore a pretty grey silk frock, trimmed -with 
black velvet — perhaps, as slight mourning — and 
ner light brown hair fell on her neck in curls, that 
were apt to get untidy and entangled. It was 
Georgina Beauclerc, the only child of the Dean of 

The window commanded a good view of the 
grounds, as the space here at the back of the 
cathedral was called — a large space ; the green, 
inclosed promenade, shaded by the elm-trees, in 
the middle ; well-kept walks outside ; and beyond, 
all around, the prebendal and other houses. Op- 
posite to the deanery, on the other side the walks, 
the elm-trees, and tlie grassy promenade, was the 
house of the Eev. Mr. Wilberforce, minor canon and 
sacrist of the cathedral, rector of St. James the 
Less, and head-master of the college school. Side 
by side with it was the quaint and small house 
once inhabited by the former rector of St. James 
the Less, an old clergyman, subject to gout, now 
dead and gone. The Kev. Wheeler Prattleton 
lived in the house now : he was also a minor canon, 
and chanter to the cathedral — that is, he held the 
office of what was called the chanter, which gave 


him the right to fix upon the services for the choir 
when the dean did not, but he only took his turn 
for chanting in rotation with the rest of the minor 
canons. On the other side the head-master's house 
was a handsome, good-sized dwelHng, tenanted by 
a gentleman of the name of Lewis, who held a good 
and official position in connexion with the bishop, 
and had married the daughter of old Squire Carr, 
the sister to the present squire, and niece to 
Marmaduke. Beyond this, in a corner, was the 
quaintest house in the grounds, all covered with 
ivy, and seeming to have nothing belonging to it 
but a door ; but the fact was_, although the door 
was here, the house itself was built out behind, 
and could not be seen — its windows facing, some 
the river, some the open country, and catching a 
view of St. James the Less in the distance. Mr. 
Aultane, Westerbury's greatest lawyer, so far as 
practice went, though not perhaps in honour, lived 
here ; and he held up his head and thought himself 
above the minor canons. In this one nook of the 
grounds a few private individuals congregated — it 
is not necessary to mention them all ; but the rest 
of the houses were mostly occupied by the pre- 
bendaries and minor canons. In some lived the 
widows and families of prebendaries deceased. 

Looking to the left, as Georgina Beauclerc stood 
at the deanery window, just beyond the gate that 


inclosed the gi-ounds on that side, might be seen 
the tfill red chimneys of the Palmery. It was, 
perhaps, inside, the worst of all the larger houses; 
but the St. John's came to it often because they 
owned it. They (the St. John's) were the best 
family in Westerbury, and held sway as such. Mr. 
St. John had died some years ago, leaving one son, 
about thirty years of age, greatly afflicted ; and a 
young little son, by his second wife. But that 
young son was growing up now : time flies. 

Georgina Eeauclerc's great blue eyes, so clear 
and round, were fixed on one particular spot, and 
that appeared to be one rather difficult to see. 
She had her face and nose pressed against the 
glass, looking toward the college school-room, a 
huge building on the right of the deanery, just 
beyond the cloisters. 

" They are late again !" she exclaimed, in a 
soliloquy of resentment. "I wish that horrid old 
Wilberforce was burnt !" 

" Georgina !" 

The tone of the reproof, more fractious than sur- 
prised, came from a recess in the large room, and 
Georgina turned hastily. 

"Why, when did you come in, mamma? I 
thought you w^ere safe in your bed room." 

^frs. Beauclerc came forward, a tliin woman with 
a somewhat discontented look on her face, and a 


little nose, red at the tip. She had long given up 
all real rule of Georgina, but she had not given up 
attempting it. And Georgina, a wild, spoilt child, 
was in the habit of saying and doing very much 
what she liked. She made great friends of the 
college school-boys, and had picked up many of 
their sayings ; and this was particularly objectionable 
to the reserved Mrs. Beauclerc. 

" What did you say about Mr. Wilberforce ?" 

*' I said I wished he w^as burnt." 

" Oh, Georgina !" 

" I do wish he was scorched. It has struck one 
o'clock aud the boys are not out I What business 
has he to keep them in ? He did it once before." 

" May I ask what business it is of yours, Georgina? 
But it has not struck one." 

"I'm sure it has," returned Georgina. 

*' It has not, I tell you. How dare you contradict 
me ? And allow me to ask why Miss Jackson 
quitted you so early to-day?" 

" Because I dismissed her," returned the young 
lady, with equanimity. "I had the headache, mamma ; 
and I can't be expected to attend to ray studies 
when I have that." 

" You have it pretty often," grumbled Mrs. Beau- 
clerc ; and indeed upon this plea, or upon some other, 
Georgina was perpetually contriving, when not 
watched, to get rid of her daily governess. " Mv 


opinion is, you never had the headache in your 

*' Thank you, mamma. That is just what Miss 
Jackson herself said yesterday afternoon. I paid 
her out for it. I sent her away with Baby Fer- 
raday's kite fastened to her shawl behind." 

" What ?"' exclaimed Mrs. Beauclerc. 

" The kite was small, not bigger than my hand, 
but the tail was fine," continued the imperturbable 
Georgina. '' You cannot imagine how grand the 
effect was as she walked along the grounds, and the 
wind took the tail and fluttered it. The college 
boys happened to come out of school at the moment ; 
and they followed her, shouting out ' kites for sale ; 
tails to sell." Miss Jackson couldnt think what 
was the matter, and kept turning round. She'd 
have had it on till now, I hope, only Fred. St. John 
went and tore it off." 

Mrs. Beauclerc had listened in speechless amaze- 
ment. When Georgina talked en in this rapid way, 
telling of her exploits — and to do the young lady 
justice, she never sought to hide them — Mrs. Beau- 
clerc felt powerless for correction. 

'' What is to become of you ?"" groaned Mrs. 

"I'm sure I dont know, mamma; something good, 
I hope," returned the saucy girl. " Little Ferraday 
— I had called him up here to give him some cakes — 


could not think wheve his kite had vanished, and 
began to roar ; so I found him sixpence and sent 
him into the town to buy another. I don't know 
whether he got lost or run over. The nurse seemed 
to think it would he one of the two, for she went 
into a fit when she found he had gone off alone." 

" Georgina, I tell you these things cannot he 
permitted to continue. You are no longer a child." 

The colloquy was interrupted by the entrance of 
the dean : a genial-looking man, with silver buckles 
in his shoes, and a face very much like Georgina's 
own. He had apparently just come in, for he had 
his shovel hat in his hand. The girl loved her 
father above everything on earth; to his slightest 
word she rendered implicit homage ; though she 
waged hot war with all others in authority over her, 
commencing with Mrs. Beauclerc. She flew to the 
dean with a beaming face, and he clasped his arms 
round her with a gesture of the fondest affection. 
Mrs. Beauclerc left the room. She never cared to 
enter into a contest with her daughter before the 

" My Georgina !" came forth the loving whisper. 

"Papa, is it one o'clock?" 

" Not yet, my dear." 

" I'm sure I heard the college clock strike." 

" You thought you did, perhaps. It must have 
been the quarters." 


" Oh, dear ! I have been calling Mr. Wilberforco 
hard names for nothing. " 

" What has Mr. AVilberforce done to you, my 
Georgie ?" 

"I thought he was keeping the school in; and 
I want to speak to Frederick St. John." 

They were interrupted. One of the servants 
appeared, and said a gentleman was asking per- 
mission to see the dean. The dean took the 
credential card handed to him : *' Mr. Peter 

" Show Mr. Arkell up," said the dean. " Georgina, 
my dear, you can go to your mamma." 

"I'd rather stay here, papa," she said, boldly. 

One word of explanation as to this visit of 
Peter Arkell's. It had of course been his in- 
tention to get his son Henry entered at the college 
school, and to this end had the boy been instructed. 
Of rare capacity, of superior intellect, of sense and 
feeling beyond his years, it had been a pleasure to 
his teachers to bring him on : and they consisted 
of his father and mother. From the one he learnt 
the classics and figures ; from the other music and 
English generally. Henry Arkell was apt at all 
things : but if he had genius for one thing more 
than another, it was certainly music. The sole 
luxury Mrs. Peter Arkell had retained about her, 
was her piano ; and Henry was au^apt pupil. Few 


boys are gifted with so rare a voice for singing, as 
was he ; and his mother had cultivated it well : 
it was intended that he should enter the cathedral 
choir, as well as the school. 

By the royal charter of the school, its number 
was confined to forty boys, king's scholars ; of 
these, ten were chosen to be choristers : but the 
head master had the privilege of taking private 
pupils, who paid him handsomely. The dean 
had the right of placing in ten of these king's 
scholars, but he rarely exercised it ; leaving it in 
the hands of the head master. Mr. Peter Arkell 
had applied several times lately to Mr. Wilberforce; 
and had received only vague answers from that 
gentleman — " when there was a vacancy to spare, 
he would think of his son" — but Peter Arkell 
grew tired. Henry was of an age to be in the 
school now, and he resolved to speak to the dean. 

He came in, leading Henry by the hand. 
Georgina fell a little back, struck — awed — by the 
boy's wondrous beauty. The dean, one of the 
most affable men that ever exercised sway over 
Westerbury cathedral, shook hands with Peter 
Arkell, whom he knew slightly. 

*' I don't know that there's a vacancy," said the 
dean, when Mr. Arkell told his tale. "Your 
son shall have it, and welcome, if there is. I 
have left these things to Mr. Wilberforce." 

VOL. T. 17 


At this juncture Miss Beauclerc threw the window 
up, and beckoned to some one outside. Had her 
mother been present she would have administered 
a reprimand, but the dean was absorbed with the 
visitors, and he was less particular than his wife. 
Georgina was but a child, he reasoned ; she might 
be too careless in her manners now, but it would 
all come right with years. Better, far better see 
her genuine and truthful, if a little brusque, than 
false, mincing, affected, as young ladies were growing 
to be. And the dean checked her not. 

"I know Mr. Wilberforce well, sir, and he 
has said he will do what he can," said Peter 
Arkell, in reply to the dean. "But I fear that 
I may have to wait an indefinite period. There 
are others in the town of far greater account than 
I, who are anxious to get their sons into the 
school; and who have, no doubt, the ear of Mr. 
Wilberforce. A word from you, Mr. Dean, would 
effect all, I am sure: if you would only kindly 
speak it in my behalf." 

Dr. Beauclerc turned his head to see who was 
entering the room, for the door had opened. It 
was a handsome stripling, growing rapidly into 
manhood— Frederick, heir of the St. John's. He 
was already keeping his terms at Oxford ; Mrs. St. 
John had sent him there too early ; and in the 
intervals, when they were sojourning at Westerbury, 


lie was placed in the college ; not as an ordinary 
scholar ; the private pupil, and the chief one too, 
of Mr. Wilberforce. 

The dean gave him a nod, and took the hand of 
the eager, exquisite face turned to him. Like his 
daughter, he was a great admirer of beauty in the 
human face : it would often give him a thrill of 
intense pleasure. 

" What is your name, my boy ?" 

" Henry Cheveley Arkell, sir." 

The dean glanced at Peter Arkell with a half 
smile. He remembered yet the commotion caused 
in Westerbury when Miss Cheveley married the 
tutor, and the name brought it before him. 

" How old are you ?" 

" Nearly ten, sir." 

" If I could paint faces, I'd paint his," cried 
GeOrgina to young St. John, in a half whisper. 
" Why don't you do it ?" 

" I suppose you mean his portrait ?" 

" You know I do. But, Fred, is he not beau- 
tiful r 

" You may get sent away if you talk," was the 
gentleman's answer. 

" Has he been brought on well in his Latin ? 
Is he fit to enter as a king's scholar ?" inquired 
the dean of Peter Arkell. 

" He has been brought on well in all necessary 



studies, Mr. Dean ; I may say it emphatically, 
2vell. I was in the college school myself, and 
know Avhat is required. But learning has made 
strides of late, sir ; hoys are brought on more 
rapidly ; and I can assure you that many a lad has 
quitted the college school in my days, his educa- 
tion finished, not as good a scholar as my son is 
now. I have taken pains with him." 

" And we know what that implies from you, 
Mr. Arkell," said the dean, with a kindly smile. 
" You would like to be a king's scholar, my brave 

" Oh yes, sir," said Henry, his transparent 
cheek flushing with hope. 

" Then you shall be one. I will give you the 
first vacancy under myself." 

They retired with many thanks ; Frederick St. 
John giving Henry's bright waving hair a pull, as 
he passed him, by way of parting salutation. 

" Papa ! if you don't put that child into the 
college school, I will," began Georgina ; her tone 
one of impassioned earnestness. " I will ; though 
I have to beg it of old Wilberforce. I never saw 
such a face. I have fallen in love with it." 

" I am going to put him in, Georgie. I like his 
face myself. But he can't go in until there's a 
vacancy. I must ask Mr. Wilberforce." 

" There are two vacancies uow, Dr. Beauclerc," 


spoke up Frederick St. Jolin. " One of them is 
iinclei- yon, I know." 

" Indeed !" 

" That is, there will be to-morrow. Those two 
West Indian boys, the Stantons, are sent for home 
suddenly : their mother's dying, or something of 
that. The master had the news this morning, and 
the school is in a commotion over it. If you do 
wish to fill the vacancy, sir, you should speak to 
Mr. Wilberforce at once, or he may stand it out 
that he has promised it," concluded Frederick St. 
John, with that freedom of speech he was fond of 
using, even to the dean. 

"Stanton?" repeated the dean. ''But were 
they not private pupils of the master's ?" 

" Oh dear no, sir, they are on the foundation. 
You might have seen them any Sunday in their 
surplices in college. They board at the master's 
house ; that's all." 

" Two dark boys, papa, the ugliest in the 
school," struck in Georgina, who knew a great deal 
more about the school than the dean did. 

When Mr. Peter Arkell and Henry quitted the 
deanery, the former turned to the cloisters ; for he 
had an errand to do in the town, and to go through 
the cloisters was the shortest way. He encoun- 
tered some of the college boys in the cloisters, 
whooping, hallooing, shouting; their feet and 


their tongues a babel of confusion. Mr. Arkeli 
looked back at them with strange interest. It did 
not seem so very long since he and his cousin 
William had been college boys tliemselves, and had 
shouted and leaped as merrily as these. Two or 
three of them touched their trenchers to Mr. Arkeli: 
they were evening pupils of his. 

Henry had turned the other way, towards his 
home. At the gate, when he reached it, the boun- 
dary of the cathedral grounds on that side, he 
found a meek donkey drawn up, the drawer of a 
sort of truck, holding a water barrel. A woman 
was in the habit of bringing this water every day 
from a famous spring outside the town, to supply 
some of the houses in the grounds. The water 
was drawn out by means of a contrivance called 
a spigot and faucet, and she was stooping over 
this, filling a can. Henry, boy like, halted to 
watch the process, for the water rushed out full 

Putting in the spigot when the can was full, she 
was proceeding to carry it up the old stairs belong- 
ing to the gateway, above which lived one of the 
minor canons, when the first shout of the college 
boys broke upon her ear. 

" Oh, mercy !" she screamed out, as if in abject 
fear ; and Henry Arkeli, who was then continuing 
his way, halted again and stared at her. 


" Young gentleman," she said in a voice of 
appeal, " would you do me a charity ?" 

" What is it ?" he asked. He was tall and 
manly for his years. 

" If you would but stand by the barrel and 
guard it ! The day afore yesterday, while my 
donkey and barrel was a stopped in this very spot, 
and I was a going up these here stairs with this 
very can, them wild young college gents came 
trooping by, and they pulled out the spigot and 
set the water a running. There warn't a drop left 
in the barrel when I got down. It was a loss to 
me I haven't over got." 

" Go along," said Henry, " I'll guard it for 

Unconscious boast ! The boys came on in a roar 
of triumph, for they had caught sight of the w^ater 
barrel. A young gentleman of the name of Lewis, 
a little older than Henry, was the first to get to 
the barrel, and lay bis hand on the spigot. 

" Oh, if you please, you are not to touch it," 
said Henry ; " I am taking care of it." 

" Halloa ! what youngster are you ? The 
donkey's brother ?" 

" Oh, don't take it out — don't !" pleaded Henry. 
" I promised the woman I'd guard it for her." 

At this moment the woman's head was protruded 
through one of the small, deep, square loopholes 


of the ancient staircase ; and she apostrophized the 
crew in no measured terms, and rather contradic- 
tory. They were a set of dyed villains, of young 
limbs, of daring pigs ; and they were dear, good, 
young gentlemen, that she prayed for every night; 
and that she'd he proud to give a drink of the 
beautiful spring vv-ater to any thirsty day. 

You know school-boys ; and may, therefore, 
guess the result of this. The derisive shouts in- 
creased ; the woman was ironically cheered ; and 
Henry Arkell had a struggle with Master Lewis for 

possession of the spigot, which ended in the former's 

ignominious discomfiture. He lay on the ground, 

the water pouring out upon him, when a tall form 

and authoritative voice dashed into the throng, and 

laid summary hands on Lewis. 

" Now then, Mr. St. John I Please to let me 

alone, sir. It's no affair of yours." 

"I choose to make it my affair, young Lewis. 

Yon help that boy up that you have thrown 


Lewis rebelled. The rest of the boys had drawn 

back beyond reach of the splashing water. St. 

John stooped for the spigot, and put it in ; and 

then treated Lewis to a sliglit shaking. 

*' You be quiet, Mr. St. John. If you cock it 

over us boys in school, it's no reason why you 

should, out." 


Another instalment of the shaking. 

" Help him up, I tell you, Lewis." 

Perhaps as the best way of getting out of it, 
Lewis jerked himself forward, and did help him up. 
Henry had been unable to rise of himself, and 
for a few moments he could not stand : his knee 
was hurt. It was a curious coincidence that the 
first fall, when he was entering the school, and 

the last fall But it may be as well not to 


"Now, mind you, Air. Lewis : if you attempt a 
cowardly attack on this boy again — you are 
bigger and stronger than he is — I'll thrash you 

Lewis walked away, leaving a mental w^ord be- 
hind him — not spoken, he would not have dared 
that — for Frederick St. John. The woman came 
down wailing and lamenting at the loss of the 
water, and the boys scuttered off in a body. St. 
John tln-ew the woman half-a-crown, and helped 
Henry home. 

The dean held to his privilege for once, and 
gave Mr. Wilberforce notice that he had filled up 
the vacancy by bestowing it on the son of Mr. 
Peter Arkell. Mr. Wilberforce, privately believing 
that the world was about to be turned upside-down, 
could only bow and acquiesce. He did it with a 
good grace, and sent a courteous message for 


Henry to be there on the following Monday, at 
early school. 

Accordingly, at seven o'clock, Henry was there. 
He did not like to troop in with the college boys, 
but waited until the head master had come, and 
entered then. Mr. Wilberforce called him up, 
inscribed his name on the school-roll, put a few 
questions to him as to the state of his studies, and 
then assigned him his place. 

The boy was walking to it with that self-con- 
sciousness of something like a thousand eyes being 
on him — so terrible to the mind of a sensitive 
nature, and his was eminently one — when the head- 
master's voice was heard. 

"Arkell, junior." 

Never supposing "Arkell, junior," could be 
meant for him, he went timidly on ; but the voice 
rose higher. 

" Arkell, junior." 

It was so peremptory that Henry turned, and 
found it ivas meant for him. The sensitive crim- 
son dyed his face deeper and deeper as he retraced 
his steps to the head-master's desk. 

" Are you lame, Arkell, junior ?" 

" Oh, it's nothing, sir. It's nearly well." 

" What's the matter, then ? ' 

" I fell down last week, sir, and hurt my knee 
a little." 


" Oh. Go to your desk." 

"What a girl's face !" cried one, as Henry re- 
commenced his promenade, for the indicated place 
was far down in the school. 

" I'm blest if I don't believe it is the knight of 
the water-barrel !" exclaimed a big boy at the first 
desk. " Wont Lewis take it out of him ! I hope 
he may get off with whole bones ; but I'd not bet 
upon it." 

" Lewis had better not try it on, or you either, 
Forbes," quietly struck in the second senior of the 
school, who was writing within hearing. 

" Why, do you know him, Mr. Arkell ?" 

" Never you mind. I intend to take care of 

The boys were trooping through the cloisters 
when school was over, and met the dean. Georgina 
was with him. She caught sight of Henry's face, 
and in her impulsive fashion dashed through the 
throng of boys to his side. 

" Papa, he's here ! Papa ! he is here." 

The dean, in his kindly manner, shook Henry by 
the hand. '' Be a good boy, mind," he said. 
" Eemember, you are under me." 

" I'll try, sir," replied Henry. 

"Do. I shall not lose sight of you." And, 
with a general nod to the rest, he departed, taking 
his daughter's hand. 


For a full minute there was a dead silence. It 
was so entirely unusual a thing for the dean to 
shake hands familiarly with a college boy, that 
those gentry did not at first decide how to take it. 
Then one of them, more impudent than the rest, 
bowed his body down before the new junior with 
mock gravity. 

'' If you please, sir, wouldn't you be pleased to 
make yourself cock of the school after this, and cut 
out St. John ?" 

" Take care of your tongue, Marshall," admo- 
nished St. John, who made one of the throng. > 

" I am bio wed, though !" returned Marshall. 
*'Did anybody ever see such a go as this ?" 

" What's the row ?" demanded Hennet, a fine 
youth, one of Mr. Wilberfoi'ce's private pupils, and 
who only now came up. 

" Oh, my ! you should have been here, Hennet," 
responded Marshall. " We have got a lord, or 
something else, among us. The Dean of West^r- 
bury has been bowing down to worship him." 

Hennet, not understanding, looked at St. John. 

*' No. Trash !" explained St. John. " Marshall 
is putting his tongue and his foot into it to-day. 
I'm off to breakfast." 

The word excited anticipations of the meal, and 
all the rest were off to breakfast too — making the 
grounds echo with their shouts as they ran. 




Henry Arkell had been in the college school 
rather more than a year, and also in the choir — for 
he entered the two almost simultaneously, his fine 
voice obtaining him the place before auy other 
candidate — when the rank and fashion of Wester- 
bury found itself in a state of internal, pleasurable 
commotion, touching an amateur concert about to 
be given for the benefit of the distressed Poles. 

Mrs. Lewis, the daughter of the late Squire Carr, 
Mrs. Aultane, and a few more of the lesser satellites 
residing near the cathedral clergy, suddenly found 
themselves, from some cause never clearly explained 
to Westerbury, aroused into a state of sympathy 
and compassion for that ill-starred country, Poland, 
and its ill-used inhabitants. Casting about in their 
minds what they could do to help those miscrahles 
— the French word slipped out at my pen's end — 
they alighted on the idea of an amateur morning 
concert, and forthwith set about organizing one. 


Painting in glowing colours the suiFerings and 
hardships of this distant people, they contrived to 
gain the ear of the good-natured dean, and of 
Mrs. St. John of the Palmery, and the rest was 
easy. Canons and minor canons followed suit ; 
all the gentry of the place took the concert under 
their especial patronage ; and everybody with the 
slightest pretension to musical skill, intimated that 
they were ready to assist in the performances, if 
called upon. In fact, the miniature scheme grew 
into a gigantic undertaking ; and no expense, 
trouble, or time was spared in the getting up of 
this amateur concert. Ladies of local rank and 
fashion were to sing at it ; the mayor accorded the 
use of the guildhall ; and Westerbury had not been 
in so delightful a state of excited anticipation for 
years and years. 

But it is impossible to please everybody — as I 
dare say you have found out for yourselves at odd 
moments, in going through life. So it proved with 
this concert ; and though it was productive of so 
much satisfaction to some, it gave great dissatis- 
faction to others. This arose from a cause which 
has been a bone of contention even down to our 
own days : the overlooking near distress, to assist 
that very far off. There are ill-conditioned spirits 
amidst us who protest that the dear little interesting 
black Ashantees should not be presented with nice 


line warm stockings, while our own common-place 
young Arabs have to go without shoes. While 
the destitution in Westerbury was palpably great, 
crying aloud to Heaven in its extent and help- 
lessness, it seemed to some inhabitants of the city — 
influential ones, too — that the movement for the 
rehef of the far-off Poles was strangely out of 
place; that the amateur concert, if got up at 
all, ought to have been held for the relief of 
the countrymen at home. This opinion gained 
ground, even amidst the supporters of the concert. 
The dean himself was heard to say, that had he 
given the matter proper consideration, he should 
have advised postponement of this concert for the 
foreigners to a less inopportune moment. 

You, my readers, may know nothing of the 
results following the opening of the British ports 
for the introduction of French goods, as they fell 
on certain local places. When the bill was brought 
into the House of Commons by Mr. Huskisson, 
these results — ruin and irrecoverable distress — were 
foreseen by some of the members, and urged as an 
argument against its passing. Its defenders did not 
deny the probable fact ; but said that in all great poli- 
tical changes the few must be content to suffer for 
the good of the many. An unanswerable argument ; 
all the more plain that those who had to discuss it 
were not of the few. That the few did suffer, and 


suffered to an extremity, none will believe who did- 
not witness it, is a matter of appalling histor}\ 
Ask Coventry what that bill did for it. Ask 
Worcester. Ask Yeovil. Ask other places that 
might be named. These towns lived by their staple 
trade ; their respective manufactures ; and when a 
cheaper, perhaps better article was introduced from 
France, so as to supersede, or nearly so, their own, 
there was nothing to stand between themselves and 

Ah ! my aged friends ! if you were living in those 
days, you may have taken part in the congratulations 
that attended the opening of the British ports to 
French goods. The popular belief was, that the 
passing of the measure was as a boon falling upon 
England ; but you had been awed into silence had 
you witnessed, but for a single day, the misery and 
confusion it entailed on these local isolated places. 
Take Westerbury : half the manufacturers went to 
total ruin, their downfall commencing with that 
year, and going on with the following years, until 
it was completed. It was but a question of the ex- 
tent of private means. Those who had none to fly 
to, sunk at once in a species of general wreck ; their 
stock of goods was sold for what it would fetch; 
their manufactories and homes were given up ; 
their furniture was seized ; and with beggary staring 
them in the face, they went adrift upon the cold 


world. Some essayed otiier means of making their 
living; essayed it as they best could without money 
and vvi'thout hope, and struggled on from year to 
year, getting only the bread that nourished them. 
Others, more entirely overwhelmed with the blow, 
made a few poor efforts to recover themselves, in 
vain, in vain ; and their ending was tlie workhouse. 
Honourable citizens once, good men, as respectable 
and respected as you are, who had been reared and 
lived in comfort, bringing up their families as well- 
to-do manufacturers ought ; these were reduced to 
utter destitution. Some drifted away, seeking only 
a spot where they might die, out of sight of men ; 
others found an asylum in their old age in the 
paupers' workhouse ! You do not believe me ? 
you do not think it could have been quite so bad as 
this ? As surely as that this hand is penning the 
words, I tell you but the truth. For no fault of 
theirs did they sink to ruin ; by no prudence could 
they have averted it. 

The manufacturers who had private property — 
that is, property and money apart from the capital 
employed in their business — were in a different 
position, and could either retire from business, and 
make the best of what they had left, or keep on 
manufacturing in the hope that they should retrieve 
their losses, and that times would mend. For a 
very, very long time — for years and years — a great 

VOL. I. 18 


many cberislied the delusive hope that the ports 
would he reclosed, aud English goods again fill the 
markets. They kept on manuf[i,cturing; content, 
perforce, with the small profit they made, and draw- 
ing upon their private funds for what more they 
required for their yearly expenditure. How they 
could have gone on for so many years, hoping in 
this manner, is a marvel to them now. But the 
fact was so. There were but very few who did this, 
or who, indeed, had money to do it ; but amidst 
them must be numbered Mr. Arkell. 

But, if the masters suffered, what can you expect 
was the fate of the workmen ? Hundreds upon 
hundreds were thrown out of employment, and those 
who were still retained in the few manufactories 
kept open, earned barely sufficient to support ex- 
istence ; for the wages were, of necessity, sadly re- 
duced, and they were placed on short work besides. 
What was to become of this large body of men ? 
What did become of them? God only knew. 
Some died of misery, of prolonged starvation, of 
broken hearts. Their end was pretty accurately 
ascertained ; but those who left their native town to 
be wanderers on the face of the land, seeking for 
employment to which they were unaccustomed, and 
perhaps finding none — who can tell what was their 
fate ? The poor rates increased alarmingly, little 
able as were the impoverished population to bear 


an increase ; the workhouses were filled, and 
lamentations were heard in the streets. Poor men ! 
They only asked for work, work ; and of work there 
was none. Small bodies of famished wretches, 
deputations from the main body, perambulated the 
town daily, calling in timidly at the manufactories 
still open, and praying for a little work. How 
useless ! when those manufactories had been obliged 
to turn off many of their own hands. 

It will not be w^ondered at, then, if, in the midst 
of this bitter distress, the grand scheme for the 
relief of the Poles, w^hich was turning the town 
mad with excitement, did not find universal 
favour. The workmen, in particular, persisted in 
cherishing all sorts of obstinate notions about it. 
Why should them there foreign Poles be thought 
of and relieved, while they were starving ? Would 
the Polish clergy and the grand folks, over there, 
think of them, the Westerbury workmen, and get 
up a concert for 'em, and send 'em the proceeds ? 
There was certainly rough reason in this. The 
discontent began to be spoken aloud, and alto- 
gether the city was in a state of semi-rebellion. 

Some of the men were gathered one evening at a 
public-house they used ; their grievances, as a 
matter of course, the theme of discussion. So 
many years had elapsed since the blow had first 
fallen on the city by the passing of the bill, almost 



a generation as it seemed, that the worn-out theme 
of closing the ports was used threadbare ; and the 
men chiefly confined themselves to the hardships 
of the present time. Bad as the trade was at 
Westerbury, it was expected to be worse yet, for 
the more wealthy of the manufacturers were be- 
ginning to say they should be forced at last to close 
their works. The men lighted their pipes, and 
called for pints or half pints of ale. Those who 
were utterly penniless, and could, in addition, neither 
beg nor borrow money for this luxury, sat gloomily 
by, their brows lowering over their gaunt and 
famished cheeks. 

"James Jones," said the landlord, a surly sort of 
man, speaking in reply to a demand for a half pint 
of ale, " I can't serve you. You owe five and 
fourpence already." 

What Mr. James Jones might have retorted in 
his disappointment, was stopped by the entrance 
of several men who came in together. It was the 
" deputation ;" the men chosen to go round the 
city that day and ask for work or alms. The in- 
terest aroused by their appearance overpowered petty 

" Well, and how have ye sped ? ' was the eager 
general question, as the men found seats. 

** We went round, thirteen of us, upon empty 
stomachs, and we left them at home empty too," 


replied a tidy-looking man with a stoop in his 
shoulders ; " but we've done next to no good. 
Thorp, he has gone home ; we gave him the money 
out of what we've collected for a loaf o' bread, for 
his wife and children's bad a-bed, and nigh clammed 
besides. The tale goes, too, that things are getting 

" They can't get worse, Read." 

'* Yes, they can ; there was a meeting to-day of 
the masters. Did you hear of it ? " 

Of course the men had heard of it. Little 
took place in the town, touching on their inter- 
ests, that they did not hear of. 

" Then perhaps you've heard the measure that 
was proposed at it — to reduce the wages again. It 
was carried, too. George Arkell & Son's was the 
only firm that held out against it." 

"Nobody has held out for us all along like Mr. 
Arkell," observed one who had not yet spoken. 
" He was a young man when these troubles first 
fell on the city, and he's middle-aged now, but 
never once throughout all the years has his voice 
been raised against us. " 

" True," said Read ; " and when he speaks to 
us it is kindly and sympathizingly, like the gentle- 
man he is, and as if tve were fellow human 
beings, which they don't all do. Some of the 
masters don't care whether we starve or live ; they 


are as selfish as they are high. Mr. Arkell has 
large means and an open hand ; it's said he has 
the interests of us operatives at heart as much as 
he has his own; for my part, I helieve it. His 
contribution to-day was a sovereign — more than 
twice as much as anybody else gave us." 

" And why not ! " broke in Mr. James Jones 
" If Arkells have got plenty — and it's well known 
they have — it's only right they should help us." 

" As to their having such plenty, I can't say 
about that," dissented Markham — a superior man, 
and the manager of a large firm. " They have 
kept on making largely, and they must lose at 
times. It stands to reason, as things have been. 
Of course they had plenty of money to fall back 
upon. Everybody knows that ; and Mr. Arkell 
has preferred to sacrifice some of that money — all 
honour to him — rather than turn off" to destitution 
the men who have grown old in his service, and 
in his father's before him. ' 

" It's true, it's true," murmured the men. 
" God bless Mr. William Arkell ! " 

" It's said that young Mr. Travice is to be 
brought up to the business, so things can't be 
very bad with them. " 

"Yah! bad with 'em!" roared a "broad-shouldered 
old man. " It riles me to sit here and hear you 
men talk such foolery. Haven't he got his close 


carriage and his horses ? and haven't he got his 
fine house and his servants ? Tilings bad with 
the Arkells I " 

" You should not cast blame to the masters," 
continued Markham. ^' How many of them are 
there who still keep on making, but whose re- 
sources are nearly exhausted ! " 

"No, no, 'taint right," murmured some of the 
more just- thinking of the men. " The masters' 
troubles must be ten-fold greater than ours." 

" I should be glad to hear how you make that 
out ? " grumbled a malcontent. " I have got seven 
mouths to feed at home, and how am I to feed 
'em, not earning a penny ? We was but six, but 
our Betsey, as was in service as nuss-girl at Mrs. 
Omer's, came home to-day. I wont deny that 
Mrs. Omer have been kind to her, keeping her on 
after they failed, and that ; but she up and told 
her yesterday that she couldn't afford it any longer. 
I remember, brethren, when Mr. and ]Mrs. Omer 
held up their heads, and paid their way as respect- 
able as the first manufacturer in Westerbury. Good 
people they was." 

" Mr. Omer came to our place to-day," inter- 
rupted Markham, " to pray the governor to give 
him a httle work at his own home, as a journey- 
man. But we had none to give, without robbing 
them that want it worse than he. I think I never 


saw our governor so cut up as be was, after being 
obliged to refuse bim." 

" Ay," returned tbe former speaker ; " and our 
Betsey declares tbat ber missis cried to ber tbis 
morning, and said sbe didn't know but wbat tbey 
sbould come to tbe parisb. Betsey, poor girl," be 
continued, " can't bear to be a burden upon us ; 
but there ain't no belp for it. Tbere be no places 
to be bad ; wbat with so many of tbe girls being 
throwed out of employment, and tbe famerlies as 
formerly kept two or tbree servants keeping but 
one, and tbera as kept one keeping none. Tbere's 
notbing tbat sbe can do, brethren, for berself or 
for us." 

" Tbe Lord keep ber from evil courses !" uttered 
a deep, earnest voice. 

'^If I thought as ber, or any of my children, 
was capable of taking to them," thundered the 
man, his breast heaving as be raised bis sinewy, 
lean arm in a threatening attitude, " I'd strike ber 
flat into tbe earth afore me ! " 

" Things as bad with the masters as they be 
with us ! " derisively resumed the broad-shouldered 
old man. " Yah ! Some on you would hold a 
candle to the devil himself, though be appeared 
among ye horned and tailed ! Why, I mind the 
time — I'm older nor some o' you be — when there 
warn't folks wanting to defend Huskisson I And 


I mind," he added, dropping his voice, *'tlie judg- 
ment tliat come upon him for what lie done." 

" It's of no good opening up that again^" cried 
Thomas Markham. "What Huskisson did, he 
did for his country's good, and he never thought it 
would bring the ill upon us that it did bring. 1 
have told you over and over again of an interview 
our head governor — who has now been dead these 
ten years, as you know — had with Huskisson in 
London. It was on a Sunday evening in summer ; 
and when the governor went in, Huskisson was 
seated at his library table, with one of the petitions 
sent up from Westerbury to the House of Com- 
mons, spread out before him. It was the one sent 
up in the May of that year, praying that the ports 
might be closed again — some of you are old enough 
to recollect it, my friends — the one in which our suf- 
ferings and wrongs were represented in truer and 
more painful colours than they were, perhaps, in any 
other of the memorials that went up. It was re- 
ported, I remembei', that Mr. William Arkell had the 
chief hand in drawing out that petition : but I don't 
know how that might have been. Any way, it told 
on Mr. Huskisson ; and the governor said after- 
wards, that if ever he saw remorse and care seated 
on a brow, it was on his." 

" As it had cause to be ! ' was echoed from all 
parts of the room. 


" Mr. Huskisson began speaking at once about 
the petition," continued the manager. " He asked 
if the sufferings described in it were not exagge- 
rated ; but the governor assured him upon his 
word of honour, as a resident in Westerbury and 
an eye-witness, that they were underdrawn rather 
than the contrary ; for that no pen, no description, 
could adequately describe the misery and distress 
which had been rife in Westerbury ever since the 
bill had passed. And he used to say that, live as 
long as he would, he should never forget the look 
of perplexity and care that overshadowed Mr. Hus- 
kisson's face as he listened to him." 

"It was repentance pressing sore upon him," 
growled a deep bass voice. " It's to be hoped 
our famished and homeless children haunted his 

" The next September he met with tlie accident 
that killed him,' continued Thomas !Markham; 
" and though I know some of us poor sufferers 
were free in saying it was a judgment upon him, 
I've always held to my opinion that if he had fore- 
seen the misery the bill wrought, he would 
never have brought it forward in the House of 

" Here's Shepherd a coming in ! I wonder how 
his child is ? Last night he thought it was dying. 
Shepherd, how's the child ?" 


A care-wom, pale man made his way amid the 
throng. He answered quietly that the child was 

" Well ! why, you said last night that it was as 
bad as it could be, Shepherd ! You was going off 
for the doctor then. Did he come to it ?" 

" One doctor came, from up there," answered 
Shepherd, pointing to the sky. *^He came, and 
He took the child." 

The words could not be misunderstood, and the 
room hushed itself in sympathy. " When did the 
boy die. Shepherd ?" 

" To-day, at one ; and it's a mercy. Death in 
childhood is better than starvation in manhood." 

" Could Dr. Barnes do nothing for him ?" inquired 
a compassionate voice. 

" He didn't try ; he opened his winder to look 
out at me — he was undressing to go to bed — and 
asked whether I had got the money to pay him if 
he came." 

"Hiss — iss — ss !" echoed from the room. 

" I answered that I had not ; but I would pay him 
with the very first money that I could scrape to- 
gether ; and I said he might take my word for it, 
for that had never been broken yet." 

"And he would not come?" 

" No. He said he knew better than to trust to 
promises. And when I told him that the boy was 


dying, and very precious to me, the rest being 
girls, he said it was not my word he doubted but 
my ability, for he didn't believe that any of us 
men would ever be in work again. So he shut 
down his winder and douted his candle, and I went 
home to my boy, powerless to help him, and I 
watched him die." 

" Drink a glass of ale, Shepherd," said Mark- 
ham, getting a glass from the landlord, and filling 
it from his own jug. 

" Thank ye kindly, but I shall drink nothing to- 
night," replied Shepherd, motioning back the glass. 
" There's a sore feeling in my breast, comrades," he 
continued, sighing heavily ; " it has been there a 
long while past, but it's sorer far to-day. I dont 
so much blame the surgeon, for there has been a 
deal of sickness among us, and the doctors have 
been unable to get their pay. Hundreds of us are 
nigh akin to starvation; there's scarcely a crust 
between us and death ; we desire only to work 
honestly, and we can't get work to do. As I sat 
to-day, looking at my dead boy, I asked what we 
had done to have this fate thrust upon us ?" 

" What have we done ? That's it I — what have 
we done ?" 

"But I did not come here to-night to grumble," 
resumed Shepherd, " I came for a specific purpose, 
though perhaps I mayn't succeed in it. I went 


down to Jasper, the cai-penter, to-day, to ask him to 
come and take the measure for the little coffin. 
Well, he"s like all the rest, he won't trust me ; at 
last he said, if anybody would go hail he should be 
paid later, he'd make it ; and I have come down 
to ye, friends, to ask who'll stand by me in this? " 

A score of voices answered, each that he would — 
eager, sympathizing voices — but Shepherd shook 
his head. There was not one among them whose 
word the carpenter would take, for they w^ere all 
out of work. In the silence that ensued. Shep- 
herd rose to leave. 

" Many thanks for the good- will, neighbours," 
he said. "And I don't grumble at my unsuccess, 
for I know how powerless many of ye are to aid me. 
But it's a bitter trial. I would rather my boy 
had never been born than that he should come to 
be buried by the parish. God knows we have 
heavy burdens to bear.' 

" Shepherd !' cried the clear voice of Thomas 
Markham, " I will stand by you in this. Tell 
Jasper I pass my word to see him paid." 

Shepherd turned back and grasped the hand of 
Thomas Markham. 

" I can't thank you as I ought, sir," he said ; 
" but you have took a load from my heart. Though 
you were never repaid here, you would be hereafter; 
for I have come to feel a certainty that if our good 


deeds are not brought home to us in this world, 
they are only kept to speak for us in the next." 

'' I say, stop a minute, Shepherd," called out 
James Jones, as the man was again making his 
way to the door. " What made you go to Jasper ? 
He's always cross-grained after his money, he is. 
Why didn't you go to White ? 

" I did go to White first," answered Shepherd, 
turning to speak ; " hut White couldn't take it. 
He has got the job for all the new wooden chairs 
that are wanted for this concert at the town-hall, 
and hadn't time for coffins." 

The mention was the signal for an outburst. It 
came from all parts of the room, one noise drown- 
ing another. Why couldn't a concert be got up 
for them ? Weren't they as good as the Poles ? 
Hadn't they bodies and souls to be saved as well 
as the Poles ? Wasn't there a whole town of 'em 
starving under the very noses of them as had got 
up the concert ? They could tell the company 
that French revolutions had growed out of less 
causes. ' 

" And I'll tell ye what," roared out the old man 
with the broad shoulders, bringing his fist down on 
the table with such force that the clatter amidst the 
cups and glasses caused a sudden silence. " Every 
gentleman that puts his foot inside that there 
concert room, is no true man, and I'd tell him so 


to his face, if 'twas the Lord Lieutenant. What do 
our people want a fattening up of them there Poles, 
while we he starving ? I wish the Poles was " 

"Hold your tongue, Lloyd," intei'posed Mark- 
ham. " It's not the fault of the Poles, any more 
than it's ours ; so -where's the use of abusing them ?" 

" Yah !" responded Mr. Lloyd. 




Amidst those who held a strong opinion on the 
subject of the concert — and it did not in any great 
degree differ from the men's — was ^Ir. Arkell. Mrs. 
Arkell knew of this, but never supposed it would 
extend to the length of keeping her away from it : or 
perhaps she wilfully shut her eyes to any suspicion 
of the sort. 

On the morning preceding the concert, she was 
seated making up some pink bows, intended to adorn 
the white spotted muslin robes of her daughters, 
when the explanation came. She said something 
about the concert — really inadvertently — and Mr. 
Arkell took it up. 

" You are surely not thinking of going to the 
concert?" he exclaimed. 

" Indeed I am. I shall go and take Lottie and 

**Then, Charlotte, I desire that you will 
put away all thoughts of it," he said. "I 


could not allow my wife and daughters to appear 
at it. " 

" Why not ? why not ?" she asked in irritation. 

'* There is not the least necessity for my going 
over the reasons ; you have heard me say already 
what I think of this concert. It is a gratuitous 
insult on our poor starving people, and neither I 
nor mine shall take part in it." 

"All the influential people in the town are 
supporting it, and will be there." 

'' Not so universally as you may imagine. But 
at any rate what other people do is no rule for me. 
I should consider it little less than a sin to purchase 
tickets, and I will not do it, or allow it to be done." 

Mrs. Arkell gave a flirt at the ribbon in her hand, 
and sent it flying over the table. 

" What will Charlotte and Sophy say ? Pleasant 
news this will be for them ! These bows were for 
their white dresses. I might have spared myself 
the time and trouble of making them up. Travice 
goes to it," she added, resentfully. 

" But Travice goes as senior of the college 
school. It has pleased Mr. Wilberforce to ask 
that the four senior boys shall be admitted ; it has 
been accorded, and they have nothing to do but 
make use of the permission in obedience to his 
wishes. That is a difterent thing. If I had to 
buy a ticket for Travice, I assure you, Charlotte, 

VOL. I. 19 


the concert would wait long enough before it saw 
him there." 

" Our tickets would cost only fifteen shillings,'' 
she retorted. 

" I can't afford fifteen shillings," said Mr. 
Arkell, getting vexed. *' Charlotte, hear me, once 
for all ; if the tickets cost but one shilling each, I 
would not have you purchase them. Not a coin 
of mine, small or large, shall go to swell the funds 
of the concert. If you and the girls feel disap- 
pointed, I am sorry," he continued, in a kind tone. 
*' It is not^often that I run counter to your wishes ;. 
but in this one instance — and I must beg you 
distinctly to understand me — I cannot allow my 
decision to be disputed." 

To say that Mrs. Arkell was annoyed, would be 
a very inadequate word to express what she felt. 
She had been fond of gaiety all her life ; was fond 
of it still ; she was excessively fond of dress ; any 
project offering the one or the other was eagerly 
embraced by Mrs. Arkell. Though of gentle birth 
herself — if that was of any service to her — as the 
wife of William Arkell, the manufacturer, she did 
not take her standing in what was called the 
society of Westerbury — and you do not need, I 
presume, to be reminded what " society " in a 
cathedral town is : or are ignorant of its preten- 
tious exclusiveness. There was not a more 


respected man in the whole city than Mr. Arkell ; 
the dean himself was not more highly considered ; 
but he was a manufacturer, the son of a manufac- 
turer, and therefore beyond the pale of the visiting 
society. It never occurred to him to wish to enter 
it ; but it did to his wife. To have that barrier 
removed, she would have sacrificed much ; and 
now and again her reason would break out in 
private complaint against it. She could not see 
the justice of it. It is true her husband was a 
manufacturer; but he had been reared a gentle- 
man ; he was a brilliant scholar, one of the most 
accomplished men of his day. His means were 
ample, and their style of living was good. Mrs. 
Arkell glanced to some of the people revelling in 
the entree of that society, with their poor pitiful 
income of a hundred pounds, or two, a year ; their 
pinching and screwing ; their paltry expedients to 
make both ends meet. Why should they be 
admitted and she excluded, was the question she 
often asked herself. But Mrs. Arkell knew per- 
fectly well, in the midst of her grumbling, that one 
might as well try to alter the famed laws of the 
Medes and Persians, as the laws that govern 
society in a cathedral town : or indeed in 
any town. This concert she had looked for- 
ward to with more interest than usual, because 
it would afford her the opportunity of hearing 



some of the great ones of the county play and 

But she did not now see how to get to it ; and 
her disappointment was bitter. It had fallen upon 
her as a blow. Mrs. Arkell had her faults, but 
she was a good wife on the whole ; not one to run 
into direct disobedience. She generally enjoyed 
her own way ; her husband rarely interfered to 
counteract it; certainly he had never denied her 
anything so positively as this. She sat, the image 
of discontent, listlessly tossing the pink bows 
about with her fingers, when her eldest daughter, a 
tall, elegant girl, came in. 

" Oh, mamma ! how lovely they are ! won't they 
look well on the white dresses !" 

*' Well !" grunted Mrs. Arkell, '' I might have 
spared myself the trouble of making them. We 
are not to go to the concert now." 

" Not to go to the concert !" echoed Charlotte, 
opening her eyes in utter astonishment. " Does 
papa say so ?" 

" Yes ; he will not allow tickets to be purchased. 
He does not approve of the concert. And he says, 
if the tickets cost but a shilling each, he should 
think it a sin to give it." 

Charlotte sat down, the picture of dismay. 

*' Where will be the use of our new dresses 
now ! ' she exclaimed. 


" Where will be the use of anything," retorted 
Mrs. Arkell. " Don't whirl your chain round like 
that, Charlotte, giving me the fidgets !" 

Charlotte dropped her chain. A bright idea 
had occurred to her. 

" If papa's objection lies in the purchase of 
tickets, let us ask Henry Arkell for his, mamma. 
Mrs. Peter is sure to be too ill to go." 

One minute's pause of thought^ and Mrs. Arkell 
caught at the suggestion, as a famished outcast 
catches at the bread offered to him. If a doubt 
obtruded itself, that their appearing at the concert 
at all would be almost as unpalatable to her hus- 
band as their spending money upon its tickets, sue 
conveniently put it out of sight. 

The gentlemen forming the choir of the cathe- 
dral, both lay-clerks and choristers, had been 
solicited to give their services to the concert ; as 
an acknowledgment two tickets were presented to 
each of them, in common with the amateur per- 
formers. Henry Arkell had, of course, two with 
the rest, and these were the tickets thought of by 

Not a moment lost Mrs. Arkell. Away went she 
to pay a visit to Mrs. Peter — a most unusual con- 
descension ; and it impressed Mrs. Peter accord- 
ingly, who was lying on her sofa that day, very 
poorly indeed. Mrs. Arkell at once proclaimed 


the motive of her visit ; she did not heat 
about the hush, or go to work Vv^ith crafty diplo- 
macy, but she plunged into it with open frank- 
ness, telling of their terrible disappointment, 
through Mr. Arkell's objecting, on principle, to 
buy tickets. 

" If you do not particularly wish to go yourself, 
Mrs. Peter— I know how unequal you are to exer- 
tion — and would give Henry's tickets to myself 
and Charlotte, I should feel more obliged than I 
can express." 

There was one minute's hesitation on Mrs. Peter 
Arkell's part. She had really wished to go to this 
concert ; she was nursing herself up to be able to 
go ; and she knew how greatly Lucy, who had but 
few chances of any sort of pleasure, was looking 
forward to it. But the hesitation lasted the minute 
only ; the next, the coveted tickets, with their 
pretty little red seal in the corner, were in the 
hand of Mrs. Arkell. 

She went home as elated as though she had 
taken an enemy's ship at sea, and were sailing into 
port with it. 

" Sophy must make up her mind to stay at home," 
she soliloquized. *' It is her papa's fault, and I 
shall tell her so, if she's rebellious over it, as she 
is sure to be. This gives one advantage, however: 
there will be more room in the carriage for me and 


Charlotte. I wondered how we should all three 
cram in, with new white dresses on. " 

About the time that she was hugging this idea 
complacently to herself, the college clock struck 
one ; and the college boys came pelting, pell-mell, 
down the steps of the ^chool-room, their usual 
mode of egress. Travice Arkell, the senior boy 
of the school now — and the senior of that school 
possessed great power, and ruled his followers with 
an iron hand, more or less so according to his 
nature — waited, as he was obliged, to the last ; he 
locked the door, and went flying across the grounds 
to leave the keys at the head master's. Travice 
Arkell was almost a man now, and would quit the 
school very shortly. 

Bounding along as fast as he could go when he 
had left the keys — ^taking no notice of a knot of 
juniors who were quarrelling over marbles — Travice 
made a detour as he turned out of the grounds, 
and entered the house of Mrs. Peter Arkell. He was 
rather addicted to making this detour, but he burst 
in now at an inopportune moment. Lucy was in 
tears, and Mrs. Arkell was remonstrating against 
them in a reasoning, not to say a reproving tone. 
Henry, who had got in previously, was nursing his 
leg, a very blank look upon his face. 

'^What's the matter?" asked Travice, as Lucy 
made her escape. 


f " I thought Lucy had more sense," was the 
/ Texed rejoinder made by Mrs. Peter. "Don't ask, 
Travice. It is nothing." 

"What is it, Harry, hoy?' cried Travice, with 
scant attention to the " don't ask." " She can't be 
crying for nothing." 

" It's about the concert," returned Henry, rue- 
fully, his disappointment being at least equal to 
Lucy's. " Mamma has given away the tickets, and 
Lucy can't go." 

" Whatever's that for ? " asked Travice, who was 
as much at home at Mrs. Peter's as he was at his 
own house. " Who has got the tickets ?" 

" Mrs. Arkell." 

" Mrs. Arkell I ' shouted Travice, staring at the 
boy as if he questioned the truth of the words. 
" Do you mean my mother ? What on earth does 
she want with your tickets ?" 

As he put the question he turned to Mrs. Peter, 
lying there with the sensitive crimson on her cheeks. 
She had certainly not intended to betray this to 
Travice : it had come out in the suddenness of the 
moment, and she strove to make the best of it now. 

" I am glad it has happened so, Travice. I feel 
so weak to-day that I was beginning to think it 
would be imprudent, if not impossible, for me to 
venture to go to-morrow. To say the least, I am 
better away. As to Lucy, she is very foolish to 


cry over so trifling a disappointment. She'll forget t 
it directly." ^ 

"But what does my mother want with your 
tickets ?" reiterated Travice, unahle to understand 
that point in the matter. " Why can't she huy 
tickets for herself '?" 

" Mr. Arkell has scruples, I believe. But, 
Travice, I am happy to " 

" Well, I shall just tell my mother what I think 
of this 1" was the indignant interruption. 

" Dont, Travice," said Mrs. Arkell. " If you 
only knew how glad I am to have the opportunity 
of rendering any little service to your home ! " she 
whispered, drawing him to her with her gentle 
hand ; " if you knew but half the kindness my 
husband and I receive from your father ! I am 
only sorry I did not think to offer the tickets at 
first ; I ought to have done so. It is all right ; 
let us say no more about it." 

Travice bent his lips to the flushed cheek : he 
loved her quite as much as he did his own 

" Take care, or you will get feverish ; and that 
would never do, you know." 

" My dear boy, I am feverish already; I have 
been a little so all day ; and I am sure there could 
be no concert for me to-morrow, had I a roomful 
of tickets. It has all happened for the best, I say. 


I should only have been at the trouble of finding 
somebody to take Lucy." 

As he was leaving the room he came upon Lucy 
in the passage, who was returning to it — the tears 
dried, or partially so ; and if the long dark eye- 
lashes glistened yet, there was a happy smile upon 
the sweet red lips. Few could school themselves 
as did that thoughtful girl of fifteen, Lucy 

Travice stopped her as he closed the door. 

*' You'll trust me, will you not, Lucy ?" 

" For what ?" she asked. 

" To put this to rights. It "' 

*•' Oh pray, pray don't ! ' she cried, fearing she 
hardly knew what. " Surely you are not thinking 
of asking for the tickets back again ! I would not 
use them for the world. And they would be of no 
use to us now, for mamma says she shall not be well 
enough to go, and I don't think she will. I shall 
not mind staying at home." 

Travice placed his two hands on her shoulders, 
and looked into her face with his sweet smile and 
his speaking eyes ; she coloured strangely beneath 
the gaze. 

" I'll tell you what it is, Lucy : you are just one 
of those to get put upon through life and never 
stand up for yourself. It's a good thing you have 
me at your side." 


" You can't be at my side all through life," said 
Lucy, laughing. 

"Don't make too sure of that, Mademoiselle." 
And tlie colour in her face deepened to a glowing 
crimson, and her heart beat wildly, as the significance 
of the tone made itself heard, in conjunction with 
his retreating footsteps. 

He dashed home, spending about two minutes in 
the process, and dashed into the room where his 
mother was, her bonnet on yet, talking to Charlotte, 
and impressing upon her the fact that their going 
to the concert must be kept an entire secret from all, 
until the moment of starting arrived, but especially 
from papa and Sophy. Charlotte, in a glow of 
delight, acquiesced in everything. 

" I say, mamma, what's this about your taking 
Mrs. Peter's tickets ?" 

He threw his trencher on the table, as he burst 
in upon them wdth the question, and his usually 
refined face was in a very unrefined glow of heat. 
The interruption was most unwelcome. Mrs. Arkell 
would have put him down at once, but that she knew, 
from past experience, Travice had an inconvenient 
knack of not allowing himself to be put down. So 
she made a merit of necessity, and told how Mr. 
Arkell had interdicted their buying tickets. 

" Well, of all the cool things ever done, that was 
about the coolest — for you to go and get those 


tickets from Mrs. Peter!" he said, when he had 
heard her to an end. " They don't have so many 
opportunities of going out, that you should deprive 
them of this one. I'd have stopped away from 
concerts for ever before 1 had done it." 

*'You be quiet, Travice," struck in Charlotte; 
"it is no business of yours." 

" You be quiet," retorted Travice. " And it is 
my business, because I choose to make it mine. 
Mother, just one question : Will you let Lucy go 
with you to the concert ? Mrs. Peter fears she 
shall be too ill to go. I'm sure I don't wonder if 
she is," he continued, with a spice of impertinence ; 
" I should be, if I had had such a shabby trick 
played upon me." 

" It is like your impudence to ask it, Travice. 
When do I take out Lucy Arkell ? She is not 
going to the concert." 

" She is going to the concert," returned Travice, 
that decision in his tone, that incipient rebellion, 
that his mother so much disliked. " You have 
deprived them of their tickets, and I shall, there- 
fore, buy them two in place of them. And when 
my father asks me why I spent money on the con- 
cert against his wish, I shall just lay the whole case 
before him, and he will see that there was no help 
for it. I shall go and tell him now, before I " 

" You will do no such tiling, Travice," inter- 


rupted Mrs. Arkell, her fiice in a flame. ''I forbid 
you to carry the tale to your father. Do you hear 
me ? I forbid you; — and 1 am your mother. How 
dare you talk of spending your money on this con- 
cert ? Buy two tickets, indeed !" 

The first was a mandate that Travice would not 
break ; the latter he conveniently ignored. Fling- 
ing his trencher on his head, he went straight off 
to buy the tickets, and carried them to Mrs. 
Peter Arkell's. There was not much questioning 
as to how he obtained them, for Mrs. St. John was 
sitting there. That they were fresli tickets might 
be seen by the numbers. 

"My dear Travice," cried Mrs. Peter, "it is 
kind of you to bring these tickets ; but we cannot 
use them. I shall be unable to go; and there is 
no one to take Lucy." 

"Nonsense, there are plenty to take her," re- 
turned Travice. " Mrs. Prattleton would be delighted 
to take her; and I dare say," he added, in his 
rather free manner, as he threw his beaming glance 
into the visitor's face, " that Mrs. St. John would 
not mind taking charge of her." 

" I ivill take charge of her," said Mrs. St. John 
— and the tone of the voice showed how genuinely 
ready was the acquiescence — " that is, if I go 
myself. But Frederick is ill to-day, and I am not 
sure that I can leave him to-morrow. But Lucy 


shall go with some of us. My niece, Anne, will he 
here, I expect, to-night. She is coming to pay a 
long visit." . 

*' What is the matter with Frederick ?" asked 
Travice, quickly. 

" It appears like incipient fever. I suppose he 
has caught a violent cold." 

" I'll go and see him," said Travice, catching up 
his trencher, and vaulting off hefore anyone could 
stop him. 

Mrs. St. John rose, saying something final ahout 
the taking Lucy, and the arrangements for the 
morrow. She was the only one of the acquain- 
tances of Miss Lucy Cheveley who had not aban- 
doned Mrs. Peter Arkell. It is true the St. Johns 
were not very often at the Palmery, hut when they 
v;ere there, Mrs. St. John never failed to he found 
once a w^eek sitting with the wife of the poor tutor, 
so neglected by the world. 

And, after all, when the moiTow came, Mrs. Peter 
Arkell teas too ill to go. So she folded the spare 
ticket in paper, and sent it, with her love, to Miss 
Sophia Arkell. 




Never did there rise a brighter morning than 
the one on which the amateur concert was to 
take place. And Westerbury was in a ferment of 
excitement ; carriages were rolhng about, bringing 
the county people into the town ; and fine dresses,, 
every colour of the rainbow, crowded the streets. 

Three parts of the audience walked to the con- 
cert, nothing loth, gentle and simple, to exhibit 
their attire in the blazing sunlight. It was cer- 
tainly suspiciously bright that morning, had people 
been at leisure to notice it. 

The Guildhall was filled to overllowing, when 
three ladies came in, struggling for a place. One 
was a middle-aged lady, quiet looking, and rather 
dowdy ; the other was an elegant girl of seventeen, 
with clear brown eyes and a pointed chin ; the 
third was Lucy Arkell. 

There was not a seat to be found. The elder 
lady looked annoyed ; but there was nothing for 


it but to stand with the mass. And they were 
standing when they caught — at least Lucy did — 
the roving eye of Travice Arkell. 

Now, it happened that the four senior pupils of 
the college school — not the private pupils of Mr. 
Wilberforce, but the king's scholars — were being 
made of much account at this concert; and, bv 
accident, or design, a side sofa, near to the or- 
chestra — one of the best places — was assigned to 
them. Travice Arkell suddenly darted from his 
seat on it, and began to elbow his way down the 
room, for every avenue was choked. He reached 
Lucy at last. 

" How late you are, Lucy ! But I can get you 
a seat — a capital one, too. Will you allow me to 
pilot you to a sofa ?" he courteously added to 
had the two ladies with her. 

The elder lady turned at the address, and saw a 
tall, slender young man, with a pale, refined face. 
The college cap under his arm betrayed that he 
belonged to the collegiate school ; otherwise, she 
had thought him too old for a king's scholar. 

" You are very kind. In a few moments. But 
we ought to wait until this song that they are be- 
ginning is over." 

It was not a song, but a duet — and a duet that 
had given no end of trouble to the executive ma- 
nagement — for none of the ladies had been found 


suitable to undertake the first part in it. It re- 
quired a remarkably clear, high, bell-like voice, to 
do it justice ; and the cathedral organist, privately 
wishing the concert far enough — for he had never 
been so much pestered in all his life as since he 
undertook the arrangements — proposed Henry 
Arkell. And Mrs. Lewis, who took the second 
part, was fain to accept him : albeit, the boy was 
no favourite of hers. 

" How singularly beautiful ! " murmured the 
elder lady to Travice Arkell, as the clear voice 
burst forth. 

" Yes, he has an excellent voice. The worst of 
him is, he is timid. He will out-grow that." 

''I did not allude to the voice; I spoke of the 
boy himself. I never saw a more beautiful face. 
Who is he ?" 

Travice smiled. , " It is Henry Arkell, Lucy's 
brother, and my cousin." 

" Ah ! I knew his mother once. Mrs. St. John 
was telling me her history last night. Anne, my 
dear, you have heard me speak of Lucy Cheveley : 
that is her son, and it is the same face. Then you," 
she continued, " must be Mr. Travice Arkell ? 
Hush ! " 

For the duet was in full force just then, and 
Mrs. Lewis's rich contralto voice was telling 

VOL. I. 20 


" Who is she ?" asked Travice of Lucy in a 

" Mrs. James. She's the governess," came the 

When the duet was over, Travice Arkell held out 
his arm to Mrs. James. " If you will do me the 
honour of taking it, the getting through the 
crowd may be easier for you," he said. But Mrs. 
James drew back, as she thanked him, and mo- 
tioned him towards the younger lady with her. 
So Travice took the younger lady ; not being 
quite certain, but suspecting who she was; and 
Mrs. James and Lucy followed as they best could. 

And his reward was a whole host of daggers 
darted at him — if looks can dart them. The two 
ladies were complete strangers to the aristocracy of 
the grounds ; and seeing Peter Arkell's daughter 
in their wake, the supposition .that they belonged 
in some way to that renowned tutor, but obscure 
man, was not unnatural. Mrs. Lewis, who had 
come down to her sofa then, and Mrs. Aultane, 
who sat with her, were especially indignant. How 
dared that class of people thrust themselves at the 
ton of the room amidst them ? 

*' Travice," said Mrs. Arkell, bending forward 
from one of the cross benches, and pulling his 
sleeve as he passed on, " you are making yourself 
too absurd ! ' 


*' Am I ! I am very sorry." 

But he did not look sorry ; on tbe contrary, he 
looked highly amused ; and he bent his head now 
and again to say a word of encouragement to the 
fair girl on his arm, touching the difficulties of 
their progress. On, he bore, to the sofa he had 
quitted, and ordered the three seniors he had left 
on it to move off. In school or out, they did not 
disobey him ; and they moved off accordingly. He 
seated the two ladies and Lucy on it, and stood 
near the arm himself; neveroncemore sitting down 
throughout the concert. But he stayed with them 
the whole of the time, talking as occasion offered. 

But, oh ! that false morning brightuess ! Before 
the concert was over, the rain was coming down 
with fury , pelting, as the college boys chose to 
phrase it, cats and dogs. Very few had given 
orders for their carriages to be there ; and they 
could only wait in hopes they would come, or send 
messengers after them. What, perhaps, rendered it 
more inconvenient was, that the concert was over 
a full half-hour earlier than had been expected. 

The impatient company began to congregate in 
the lower hall ; its folding doors of egress and its 
large windows looking to the street. Some one 
had been considerate enough to have a fire lighted 
at the upper end ; and most inviting it was, now 
the day had turned to damp. The head master, 



who had despatched one of the boys to order his 
close carriage to be brought immediately, gave the 
fire a vigorous poke, and turned round to look 
about him. He was a little man, with silver- 
rimmed spectacles. 

Two causes were exciting some commotion in 
the minds of the lesser satellites of the grounds. 
The one was the presuming behaviour of those 
people with Lucy Arkell, and the unjustifiable 
folly of Travice ; the other was the remarkable 
absence of the Dean of Westerbury and his family 
from the concert. It, the absence, was put down 
to the dean's having at the last moment refused to 
patronize it, in consequence of its growing unpopu- 
larity ; and Mrs. St. John's absence was attributed 
to the same cause. People knew later that the dean 
and Mrs. Beauclerc had remained at home in conse- 
quence of the death of a relative ; but that is of no 
consequence to us. 

" The dean is given to veering round," remarked 
Mrs. Aultane in an under tone to the head master. 
" Those good-natured men generally are." 

The master cleared his throat, as a substitute for 
a reply. It was not his place to speak against the 
dean. And, indeed, he had no cause. He walked 
to the window nearest him, and looked out at the 
carnages and flies as tliey came tardily up. 

Travice Arkell seemed determined to offend. He 


was securing chairs for those ladies now near the 
fire ; and Mrs. Lewis put her glass to her eye, and 
surveyed them from head to foot. Her wild 
brother, Benjamin Carr, could not have done it 
more insolently. 

" Who is that lady, Arkell ?" demanded the 
master, of Travice, when he got the opportunity. 

'* It is a Mrs. James, sir." 

" Oh. A friend of yours ?" 

" No, sir. I never saw her until to-day." 

Mrs. Aultane bent her head. " Mrs. James ? 
Who is Mrs. James ? And the other one, too ? 
I should be glad to know, Mr. Travice Arkell." 

" I can't tell you much about them, Mrs. 
Aultane," returned Travice, suppressing the laugh 
of mischief in his eye. " I saw them for the first 
time in the concert- room." 

" They came with your relative, Peter Arkell's 

" Exactly so. That is, she came with them.' 

" Some people from the country, I suppose," 
concluded Mrs. Aultane, with as much hauteur as 
she thought it safe to put into her tone. " It is 
easy to be seen they have no style about them." 

Travice lauglned and went across the room. He 
was speaking to the ladies in question, when a 
gentleman of three or four-and-twenty came up 
and tapped him on the back. 


" Won't you speak to me ? It is Travice Arkell, 
I see, though he has shot up iuto a man." 

One moment's indecision, and Travice took the 
hand in his. " Anderson ! Can it be ?" 

" It can, and is. Captain Anderson, if you 
please, sir, now." 


" It's true. I have been lucky, and have got my 
company early." 

"But what brings you here? I did not know 
you were in Westerbury." 

"I arrived only this morning. Hearing of your 
concert when I got here, I thought I'd look in ; 
but it was half over then, and I barely got inside 
the room. You don't mean to say that you are in 
the school still ?" 

Travice laughed, and held out the betraying cap. 
*'It is a shame. I am too big for it. I have only 
a month or two longer to stay." 

" But you must have been in beyond your 

" I know I have." 

" And who is senior ?" 

"Need you ask, looking at my size. This is 
Lucy; have you forgotten her ?" * 

Captain Anderson turned. He had been edu- 
cated in the college school, a private pupil of the 
head master's. Travice Arkell was only a junior 


in it when Anderson left ; but Anderson had been 
intimate at the houses of both the Arkells. 

"Miss Lucy sprung up to this ! You were the 
prettiest little child when I left. And your sisters, 
Travice ? I should like to see them." 

Lucy laughed and blushed. Captain Anderson 
began talking to Mrs. James, and to the young lady 
who sat between her and Lucy. 

" I can't stop," he presently said. " I see the 
master there. And that — yes, that must be Mr. 
and Mrs. Prattleton. There ! the master is scanning 
me through his spectacles, wondering whether it's 
me or somebody else. I'll come back to you, 

He went forward, and was beset at once. People 
were beginning to recognise him. Anderson, the 
private pupil, had been popular in the grounds. 
Mrs. Aultane on one side, Mrs. Lewis on the other, 
took forcible possession of him, ere he had been a 
minute with the head master and his wife. It was 
hard to believe that the former somewhat sickly, 
fair-haired private pupil, who had been coddled by 
Mrs. Wilberforce with bark and flannel and beaten- 
np eggs, could be this fine soldierly man. 

*' Those ladies don't belong to you, do they ?" 
cried Mrs. Aultane, beginning to fear she had made 
some mistake in her treatment of the ladies in 
question, if they did belong to Anderson. 


" Ladies ! what ladies ?" 

" Those to whom Travice Arkell is talking. He 
has been with them all day." 

'' They don't belong to me. What of them ?" 

" Nothing. Only these inferior people, strangers, 
have no right to push themselves amidst us, taking 
up the best places. We are obliged to draw a line, 
you know, in this manufacturing town ; and none 
but strangers, ignorant of our distinctions, would 
dare to break it." 

Captain Anderson laughed ; he could not quite 
understand. " I don't think they are inferior," he 
said, indicating the two ladies. " Anything but 
that, although they may belong to manufacturers, 
and not be in your set. The younger one is 
charming ; so is Lucy Arkell." 

Mrs. Aultane vouchsafed no reply. It was rank 
heresy. The college boys were making a noise and 
commotion at the other end of the hall, and the 
master called out sharply — 

" Arkell, keep those boys in order." 

Travice sauntered towards them, gave his com- 
mands for silence, and returned to the place from 
whence he came. Henry Arkell came into the 
hall from the upper room, and there was a lull in 
the proceedings. The carriages came up but slowly. 

"Don't you think we might walk home, Mrs. 
James ?" inquired the younger lady. *' I do not 


care to stay here longer to be stared at. 1 never 
saw people stare so in my life." 

She said it with reason. Many were staring, and 
not in a lady-like manner, but with assuming 
manner and eye-glass to eye. 

" They look just as though they thought we had 
no right to be here, Mrs. James." 

" Possibly, my dear. It may be the Westerbury 
custom to stare at strangers. But I cannot allow 
you to walk home ; you have thin shoes on. Mrs. 
St. John is certain to send your carriage, or hers." 

" You did well, Harry," cried Travice Arkell, 
laying his hand on the young boy's shoulders. 
"Many a fair dame would give her price for your 

" And for something else belonging to you," 
added Mrs. James, taking the boy's hand and 
holding him before her as she gazed. *' It is the 
very face ; the very same face that your mother's 
was at your age." 

" Did you know mamma then ? Then, you 
must be a friend of hers," was Henry Arkell's eager 

"No, I never was her friend — in that sense. I 
was a governess in a branch of the Cheveley family, 
and Miss Lucy Cheveley and her father the colonel 
used to visit there. She had a charming voice, too ; 
just as you have. Ah, dear me ! speaking to you 


and your sister here, her children, it serves to 
remind me how time has flown." 

" I am reminded of that, when I look at Captain 
Anderson here," said Travice Arkell, with a laugh. 
" Only the other day he was a schoolboy." 

" If you want to be reminded of that, you need 
only look at yourself," retorted Anderson. '^ You 
have shot up into a maypole." 

" Will you see me to the carriage, Travice, if 
you are not too much engaged ?" cried out a voice 
which Travice knew well. 

It was his mother's. She had seen the approach 
of her carriage from the windows of the upper hall, 
and was going down to it. Travice turned in 
obedience to the summons ; and Captain Anderson 
sprang forward to renew his former friendship. 

" You might set down Lucy on your way," said 
Travice, as they were stepping in. *' I don't 
know how shell get home through this pouring 

"And how would our dresses get on ?" returned 
Mrs. Arkell, in hot displeasure. " Lucy, it seems, 
could contrive to get to the concert, and she must 
contrive to get from it. You can come in, Travice ; 
you take up no room." 

'•' Thank you, I'd not run the chance of damaging 
your dresses for all the money they cost." 

As he returned to the hall, the boys, gathered 


round the door, were making a great noise, and Mr. 
Wilberforce spoke in displeasure. 

" Cant you keep those hoys in order, Mr. 
Arkell ?"' 

Travice dealt out a very significant nod, one 
bespeaking punishment for the morrow^ and the 
hoys subsided into silence. 

''Please, sir, your carriage is coming up the 
street," said Cockburn, junior, a little fellow of 
ten, to the head master, rather gratified possibly to 
be enabled to say it. " Somebody else's is coming 

The windows became alive with heads. Eut 
the " somebody else's " proved to be of no interest, 
for it did not belong to any of the concert goers, 
and it went on past the Guildhall. Of course all 
the attention was then concentrated on the master's. 
It was a sober, old fashioned, rather shabby brown 
chariot ; and it came up the street at a sober pace. 
The master, full of congratulation that the im- 
prisonment was over, looked at it complacently. 
What then was his surprise to see another carriage 
dash before it, just as it was about to draw up, and 
usurp the place it had been confidingly driving to. 
A dashing vision of grandeur ; an elegant yellow 
equipage bright as gold; its hammer-cloth gold 
also ; its servants displaying breeches of gold 
plush, with powdered hair and gold-headed canes. 


"Why, whose is it?" exclaimed the discomfited 
master, almost forgetting in his surprise the eclipse 
his own chariot had received. 

*' Whose can it be ?" repeated the gazers in 
puzzled wonder. The livery was that of the St. 
John family; the colour was theirs ; and, now that 
they looked closely, the arms were the St. Johns'. 
But the St. Johns' panels did not display a coronet I 
And there was not a single head throughout the 
hall, but turned itself in curiosity to await the 
announcement of the servant. He came in with 
his powder and his cane, and the college boys made 
way for him. 

" The Lady Anne St. John's carriage." 

She, Lady Anne, the fair girl of seventeen, 
looked at Travice Arkell, appearing to expect his 
arm as a matter of course. Travice gave it. Mrs. 
James tucked Lucy's arm within her own, in an old- 
fashioned manner_, and followed them out. 

They stepped into the carriage. Lady Anne 
w^aiting in her stately courtesy for Lucy to take 
the precedence ; she followed ; Mrs„ James went 
last. And Travice Arkell lifted his trencher as 
they drove away. 

The head master, smoothing his ruffled plumes, 
came out next, and Travice returned to the hall. 
Mrs. Aultane, feeling fit to faint, pounced upon 


"Did you know that it was Lady Anne St. 
John ?" 

"Not at first," he answered, suppressing his 
laughter as he best could, for the whole thing had 
been a rich joke to him. "I guessed it: because 
I heard Mrs. St. John tell Mrs. Peter Arkell 
yesterday that Lady Anne was coming." 

" And you couldn't open your mouth to say it ! 
You could let us treat her as if — as if — she were a 
nobody !" gasped Mrs. Aultane. " If you were not 
so big, Travice Arkell, I could box your ears." 

The next to come down from the upper hall 
was a group, of whom the most notable was- 
Marmaduke Carr. A hale, upright man still, with 
a healthy red upon his cheeks : a few more years, 
and he would count fourscore. With him, linked 
arm in arm, was a mean little chap, looking really 
nearly as old as Marmaduke : it was Squire Carr. 
His eldest son, Valentine, was near him, a mean- 
looking man also, but well-dressed, with a red nose 
in his button-hole. Mrs. Lewis, the squire's 
daughter, came forward and joined them, putting" 
her arm within her husband's, a big man with a 
very ugly face ; and the squire's younger children, 
the second family, women grown now, followed. 
Old Marmaduke Carr — he was always open-handed 
— had treated every one of these younger children, 
six of them, and all girls, to the concert, for he 


knew the squire's meanness; and be was taking 
the whole party home to a sumptuous dinner. All 
the family were there except one, Benjamin, the 
second son. The Eeverend Mr. Prattleton and his 
wife w^ere of the group ; the two families were on 
intimate terms ; and if you choose to listen to what 
they are saying, you may hear a word about 

The rain was coming down fiercely as ever, so 
there was nothing for it but to wait until some of 
the flies came back again. Mr. Prattleton, the 
squire, and Marmaduke Carr sought the embrasure 
of a window, where they could talk at will, and 
watch the approach of any vehicle that could be 
seized upon. Squire Carr was a widower still ; he 
had never married a third wife. It may be, that 
the persistent rejection of Mildred Arkell in the 
days long gone by, had put him out of conceit of 
asking anybody else. Certain it was, he bad not 
done it. 

'^And where is he now?" asked Mr. Prattleton 
of the squire, pursuing a conversation which had 
reference to Benjamin. 

" Coming home,"' growled the squire ; " so he 
writes us word. I thought how long this American 
fever would last."' 

*' I never clearly understood what it was he went 
to do there," observed the clergyman. 


"Nor I," said Squire Carr, drawing down the 
thin lips of his discontented mouth. " All I know 
is, it has cost me two hundred pounds, for he took 
a heap of things out there on speculation, which I 
have since paid for. He wrote word home that the 
things were a dead loss ; that he sold them to a 
rogue who never paid him for them. That's six 
months ago." 

" Then how has he lived since ?" asked Mr. 

"Heaven knows. I dont." 

" Perhaps he has lived as he lived at Homberg, 
John,"' put in old Marmaduke, who had a trick of 
saying home truths to the squire, by no means 
palatable. "You know how he lived tJiere, for 
two seasons." 

"I don't know what he's doing, and I don't 
care, ' repeated the squire to Mr. Prattleton, com- 
pletely ignoring Marmadukes interruption. "I have 
tried to throw him off, but he wont be thrown off. 
He is coming home now, in the hope that I wuU 
put him into a farm ; I know he is, though he 
has not said so. Pity but the ship would go 
cruizing round the world and never come back 

" You did put him into a farm once. ' 

" I put him into one twice, and had to take 
them on my own hands again, to save the land 


from being iniined," returned Squire Carr, wrath- 
fully. " He •' 

" But you know, John, Ben always said that the 
fault was partly yours," again put in old Marma- 
duke ; " you would not allow proper money to be 
spent upon the land." 

" It's not true. Ben said, it, you say ? — tush I 
it's not much that Ben sticks at. When he ought 
to have been over the farm in the early morning, 
he was in bed, tired out with his doings of the 
night. He was never home before daylight; 
gambling, drinking ; evil knows what his nights 
would be spent in. The fact is, Ben Carr was 
born with an antipathy to work, and so long as he 
can beg or borrow a living without it, he wont 
do any." 

" It is a pity but he had been put to some regu- 
lar profession," said the minor canon. 

" I put him to fifty things, and he came back 
from all," said the squire, tartly. 

"He was never put regularly to anything, John," 
dissented Marmaduke. "You sent him to one 
thing — ' Go and try whether you like it, Ben,' said 
you ; Ben tried it for a week or two, and came 
back and said he didn't like it. Then you put 
him to another- — ' Try that, Ben,' said you ; and 
Ben came back as before. The fact is, he ought 
to have been fixed at some one thing offhand, and 


my brother, the old squire, used to say it; not 
have had the choice of leaving it given him over 
and over again. * You keep to that, Mr. Ben, or 
you starve,' would have been my dealings with 

John Carr cast his thoughts back, and there was 
a sneer upon his thin lips ; old Marmaduke had 
not dealt so successfully with his own son that he 
need boast. But John did not say it ; for many 
years the name of Eobert Carr had dropped out of 
their intercourse. Had he been dead — and, in- 
deed, for all they heard of Robert, he might be 
dead — his name could not have been more com- 
pletely sunk in silence. Marmaduke Carr never 
spoke of him, and the squire did not choose to 
speak : he had his reasons. 

" It was the premium you stuck at, John. We 
can't put young men out without one, when they 
get to the age Ben was. There was another 
folly ! — keeping the boy at home till he was twenty 
years of age, doing nothing except just idling about 
the land. But it's your affair, not mine ; and Ben 
has certainly gone on a wrong tack this many a 
year now. I should have discarded him long ago, 
had he been my son." 

" I should have felt tempted to do the same," 
observed the clergyman. "Benjamin has entailed 
80 much trouble on you." 

VOL. I. 21 


" And he'll entail more yet," was the consolatory 
prediction of old Marmaduke. 

The squire made no reply. He had his arm on 
the window-frame supporting his chin, and looking 
dreamily out. His thoughts were with Benjamin. 
Why had he not yet discarded this scapegrace son — 
he, the hard man? Simply because there was a 
remote corner in his heart where Benjamin was 
cherished — cherished beyond all his other children. 
Petty, mean, hard as John Carr was, he had pas- 
sionately loved his first wife; and Benjamin, in 
features, was her very image. His eldest son, 
Valentine, resembled him, the squire ; Mrs. Lewis 
was like nobody but herself; his other children 
were by a different mother. He only cared for 
Benjamin. He did not care for Valentine, he did 
not care for the daughters, but he loved Benjamin ; 
and the result was, that though Ben Carr brought 
home grief continually, and had done things for 
which Valentine, had he done them, would never 
have been pardoned, the squire, after a little hold- 
ing out, was certain to take him into favour again, 
and give him another chance. 

" When does George go out ?" asked the squire 
of Mr. Prattleton, alluding to that gentleman's 
half-brother, who was nearly twenty years younger 
than himself. 

" Immediately. And very fortunate we have 


been in getting him so good a thing. I hope the 
chmate "will agree with him." 

" Grandpapa," said young Lewis, running up to 
the squire, "here are two flies coming down the 
street now. Shall I rush out and secure them 
first ?" 

" Ask Mr. Carr, my hoy. He may like to stay 
longer, and give a chance to the rain to abate." 

Mr. Carr, old Marmaduke, laughed. He knew 
John Carr of old, and his stingy nature. He would 
not order the flies to be retained lest the payment 
of them should fall to him. 

" Go and secure them both, boy," said old 
Marmaduke; " and there's a shilling for your own 

Young Lewis galloped out, spinning the shilling 
in his hand. " Don't I hope old Marmaduke will 
leave all his money to me !" quoth he, mentally. 
To say the truth, the whole family of the Carrs 
indulged golden dreams of this money more fre- 
quently than they need have done — apart from the 
squire, who was the most sanguine dreamer of all. 

They were going out, to stow themselves in the 
two flies as they best could, when Marmaduke's 
eye fell on Travice Arkell. The old man caught 
his hand. 

" Will you come home and dine with us, Travice? 
Five o'clock, sharp !" 


" Thank you, sir — I shall be very glad," replied 
Travice, who liked good dinners as well as most 
schoolboys, and Mr. Carr's style of dinner, when 
he did entertain, was renowned. 

" If you don't want these flies to be taken by 
somebody else, you had better come !" cried out 
young Lewis, putting his wet head in at the en- 
trance door. " Mamma, I am stopping another 
for you." 

Travice Arkell for once imitated the junior 
college boys, and splashed recklessly through the 
puddles of the streets, as fast as his legs would 
carry him, on his way to the Palmery, for he wanted 
to see Frederick St. John : he had just time. His 
nearest road led him past Peter Arkell's, and he 
spared a minute to look in. 

" So you have got home safely, Lucy ?" 

" As if I could get home anything but safely, 
coming as I did !" returned Lucy, in merriment. 
" Such a commotion it caused when the carriage 
dashed up ! The elm-trees became alive with rooks'- 
heads, not to speak of the windows. You should 
have seen the footman and his cane marshalling 
me to the door ! But oh, Travice ! when I got 
inside, the gilt was taken off the gingerbread 1" 

" How so ?" 

" You know how badly papa sees now without 
his spectacles. He did not happen to have them 


on, and he took it to be the old beadle of St. James 
the Less, with his laced hat and staff. He said he 
could not think what he wanted." 

Travice laughed, laughed merrily, with Lucy. 
He stayed a minute, and then splashed on to the 

Frederick St. John was sitting up, but he had 
been really ill in the morning. Mrs. James and 
Lady Anne were giving him and Mrs. St. John the 
details of the concert. It was not surprising that 
no one had known Lady Anne. She had paid a 
long visit to Westerbury several years before, when 
she was a little girl ; but growing girls alter, and 
her face was not recognised again. She had come 
for a long visit now, bringing, as before, her 
carriage and three or four servants — for she was an 
orphan, and had her own establishment. 

" I say, Arkell, I'm glad you are come. Anne 
is trying to enlighten us about the grand doings 
this morning, and she can't do it at all. She 
protests that Mr. Wilberforce sang the comic 

Lady Anne eagerly turned to Travice. " That 
little gentleman in silver spectacles, who was look- 
ing so impatiently for his carriage — who told you 
once or twice to pay attention to the college boys — 
was it not Mr. Wilberforce ?" 

" Undoubtedly." 


" Well, did he not sing the comic song ? I'm 
sure, if not, it was some one very like him." 

Travice enjoyed the mistake. " It was little 
Poyns, the lay-clerk, who sang the comic song," he 
said, looking at Mrs. St. John and Frederick. 
" When Poyns gets himself up in hlack, as he did 
to-day, he looks exactly like a clerg}^man ; and his 
size and spectacles do hear a resemblance to Mr. 
Wilberforce. But it was not Mr. Wilberforce, 
Lady Anne." 

" Arkell," cried St. John, from his place on the 
sofa by the fire, Mrs. St. John being opposite to 
him, and the others dispersed as they chose about 
the small square room, glittering with costly furni- 
ture, " who was it came in unexpectedly and sur- 
prised you ? Anne thinks it was one of the old 
college fellows." 

"It was Anderson. Don't you remember him ? 
He has got his company now." 

" Anderson ! I should like to see him. I hope 
he'll come and see me. Where's he stopping ? I 
shall go out to-morrow." 

" You'll do no such thing, Frederick," interposed 
Mrs. St. John. 

" What a charming girl is Miss Lucy Arkell !" 
exclaimed Mrs. James to Travice. " She puts me 
greatly in mind of her mother, and yet she is not 
like her in the face. There is the same expression 


though, and she has the same gentle, sweet, modest 
manners. I like Lucy Arkell." 

" So do I," cried Mr. St. John. "If my heart 
were not bespoken, I'm sure I should give it to 

The words were uttered jestingly ; nevertheless, 
Mrs. St. John glanced up uneasily. Frederick saw 
it. He knew in what direction his heart was ex- 
pected to be given, and he stole a glance involun- 
tarily at Lady Anne ; but it passed from her im- 
mediately to rest upon his mother — a glance in 
which there was incipient rebellion to. the wishes 
of his family ; and Mrs. St. John had feared that 
it might be so, since the day when he had said, in 
his off-hand way, that Anne St. John was not the 
wife for his money. 

Mrs. St. John's pulses were beating a shade 
quicker. There might be truth in his present 
careless assertion, that his heart was bespoken. 






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